“Qatar & Saudi Arabia Will Get F-35s If They Want Them,” Israeli Minister Says

An F-35 fighter jet seen at the Vermont Air National Guard base in South Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)

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Qatar and Saudi Arabia could eventually obtain F-35 stealth fighter jets if they want them, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) told Ynet on Sunday.

Steinitz, who is a member of Israel’s security cabinet, added that this possibility exists despite Israel’s opposition, especially to a sale to Qatar, which maintains strong ties with Iran and Hamas.

“It should worry us. Ultimately, the US looks out for American interests,” Steinitz said, elaborating that US interests include competition for the sale of stealth jet from Russia and China. Steinitz added that the US had sold advanced aircraft to Arab countries in the past over Israel’s objections.

Following Steinitz’s statements, a subsequent Ynet report stated that senior defense officials are worried that the US would include the sale of F-35 jets to Saudi Arabia and/or Qatar as part of a potential normalization agreement with Israel.

“Saudi Arabia, unlike the Emirates, is located only 200 kilometers from Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat and we can’t know what will happen in the distant future in terms of strategic twists and turns,” one official said, referring to the extreme regime and civil changes that Middle Eastern countries are prone to.

Qatar submitted a formal request to purchase U.S. F-35 jets on October 7. Israel expressed its opposition to the move to the US but to date, the US has maintained silence on Qatar’s request.

Israel, which initially expressed its misgiving on the sale of F-35 jets to the UAE, dropped its opposition to the deal following meetings between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in Washington last week.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. The UAE made it clear that it was making peace with Israel as that was what it judged to be in the best interests of the UAE. Every other Arab nation will hopefully reach the same conclusion. Those Arabs living in what the delusionists call “Palestine” will also sooner or later realize that having stable economic growth and joining the 21st century is in their best interest as well. There is however a second side to this. The United States is also entitled to act in what it perceives to be its best interests. That may include supporting its view that the USA no longer needs to be the world’s policeman and that nations should have the means to develop their own defense and offense strategies. The fact that this may lead to support of US airplane makers is just icing on the cake. Israel can not expect to have its cake and eat it!