Officials in Jerusalem have decided to cancel a $141 million defense deal with Turkey, saying they were concerned that Ankara could hand over cutting-edge intelligence equipment to third parties hostile to Israel.
A defense official stressed that the relationship with Turkey is very important to Israel, but added that “at the same time we have security responsibility for every product that receives an export license.”
“Decisions on this matter have to do with the specific system, rather than with the overall relationship,” the official said.
The Defense Ministry also responded to the report, issuing the following statement: “As a rule, the Ministry of Defense does not detail all the considerations and information at the basis of its decision-making in setting defense exports’ policy…decisions are undertaken on a professional basis, in line with security and diplomatic considerations.”
The nixed deal was signed between Jerusalem and Ankara in 2008, Israeli officials said.