Israel, US Sign Joint Declaration Reaffirming Military Edge Promise

October 23, 2020

by: Yoav Zitun

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Defense Secretary Esper and Defense Minister Gantz at the Pentagon (illustrative).

Friday, 23 October 2020 | Defense Minister Benny Gantz met US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon on Thursday where they signed a joint declaration confirming Washington’s strategic commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East.

“In recent weeks, we have held important discussions that ensure the United States’ commitment to maintaining Israel’s military superiority,” Gantz said.

“We are now entering an era of normalization in the Middle East, which can help against Iranian aggression across the region. Together with the United States and allies, old and new, we will ensure fruitful cooperation. I would like to thank the American administration and in particular, my friend, Secretary of Defense Esper, who promoted the issue with me.”

Gantz’s visit mainly revolved around advancing Israel’s bid to purchase advanced US-made aircrafts such as F-15 and F-35 fighter jets, transport helicopters, and probably also a V-22 helicopter.

For this purpose, cabinet ministers will convene this coming Sunday to approve a part of the procurement, which is expected to be funded by US aid funds. However, the Ministry of Finance is expected to oppose the motion and promote a different outline formulated by the defense establishment.

As part of the outline, one of the US arms manufacturers supplying the weapons will take out a loan to immediately supply Israel with the new fighter jets.

Israel’s demands intensified after reports claimed the US and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected to sign an arms deal on the sale of F-35 fighter jets by December, with silent agreement from Israel.

After the signing of the agreement, a senior defense official showed great satisfaction and added that Saudi Arabia may soon join the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan in peace talks with the Jewish state.

“This commitment is permanent and with the things we hear about in the Middle East with the UAE, Bahrain and soon Sudan; Saudi Arabia will also step out of the closet soon,” the officials said.

Posted on October 23, 2020

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on October 22, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Lisa Ferdinando / U.S. Secretary of Defense

Photo License: Wikimedia