Israel vows to oppose US sales of F-35s to Qatar

Israel has said it will stand in the way of potential sales of F-35 jets by the U.S to Qatar after the Gulf country submitted a formal purchase request, reports say.
Intelligence minister Eli Cohen, Sunday told Army radio, the opposition is in line Israel’s security and maintenance of its superiority in the region, The New Arab reports.
“As far as we’re concerned, security and our superiority in the region are the most significant things,” Cohen said. “For us, our region still hasn’t become Switzerland. Israel is the most threatened country, not only in the Middle East, but in the whole world, and as such, we need to preserve our superiority.”
Last week, Qatar reportedly submitted a formal request to Washington for the advanced fighter jets, which are manufactured by US firm Lockheed Martin.
The Gulf country is the only country in the region to have turned down ties normalization proposal by the U.S as other neighbors namely UAE and Bahrain officially last month established full diplomatic ties with Israel. Several other countries according to US President Donald Trump who brokered the normalization deals, would follow suite. Qatar said it remains attached to the Palestinian cause.
Qatar’s request followed that of UAE’s. Both countries have been embroiled in regional diplomatic feud. UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have severed ties with Qatar over the latter’s alleged support for terrorism. The Saudi-led group had aimed at invading Qatar, Doha had recently indicated.
Israel is currently the only country in the Middle East to have F-35s, the most advanced jet in the American arsenal, with a fleet of 50 and potential to expand, The New Arab reports.

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