Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen made the comments in response to a Reuters report that Qatar – whose Iran links trouble Israel – had submitted a formal request to Washington to buy the Lockheed Martin Corp. stealth jet.
The United States consults with Israel on proposed sales of advanced arms to other countries in the region, under a principle of preserving Israel’s “qualitative military edge”. Some such sales have gone ahead over Israeli objections.
Asked whether Israel would oppose an F-35 sale to Qatar, Cohen told Army Radio: “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.”
Qatar’s F-35 request follows an August deal in which Washington agreed to consider giving the United Arab Emirates approval to buy the jets in a side deal to a U.S.-brokered agreement normalizing ties between Israel and that Gulf power.
Read more: Reuters