After Israel’s reluctant nod for the prospective sales of F-35 warplanes to the UAE, it has now vehemently opposed the sale of fifth-generation jets to Qatar, which recently made a formal proposal to Washington for purchasing the stealth-jets.
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The statement was given via the Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen when he made the comments on the Israeli Army Radio when asked about a Reuters report which mentioned the Qatari proposal to purchase the F-35s.
Even with the stubbornness shown by Jerusalem over the similar sales to UAE, Washington had assured Israel of its qualitative military edge in the region by reportedly making Emirati F-35s “visible” to the Israeli radars or somehow making them less stealthy.
On being asked if Israel would oppose the sales, the minister said, “The answer is yes. Our security and military superiority in the region are the most significant things for us.” “Our region has still not turned into Switzerland,” he remarked.
According to Cohen, maintaining military superiority is the priority of Israel to ensure its survival in the increasingly hostile region. It takes precedence over other considerations, even if it means to sever ties with the Gulf, with whom Jerusalem is making progress to normalise relations.
For Israel, Qatar is not just another UAE. Previously, the gulf nation had made it clear that it would not move further and normalise ties with the Jewish nation until the Palestinian issue is resolved.
Cohen even said that many other countries have also put in confidential requests to purchase the F-35s, and refused to mention them.
The Israeli Air Force has also been using the F-35s, the “Adir” variant, and was the first nation in the world to make a combat debut with those fighters over the battlefields over Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
Experts talking to the EurAsian Times commented on Cohen’s statement (Our region has still not turned into Switzerland) and sarcastically stated that even Switzerland is vying for the F-35s despite being a neutral country and well protected and surrounded by NATO nations.
Earlier as EurAsian Times reported, the United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in a press release announced the intent and determination of possible foreign military sales to the Swiss Government for the sale of forty F-35 fighter jets and related equipment, worth $6.58 billion.