Israel Defense Minister: We’re Forming ‘Special Security Arrangement’ with Gulf Allies

RAMON AIR FORCE BASE, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 19: Israel's first F-16i jet fighter, called in Hebrew Sufa (Storm), taxis after landing February 19, 2004 at the Ramon Air Force Base in Israel's Negev desert. The air force took delivery of the first two of 102 of the long-range advanced American-made …
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Israel and its new Gulf allies will launch a security taskforce which will include defense and military cooperation against Iran, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a defense pact but we are going to develop defense relations with every country that we have relations with,” Gantz said.

The Abraham Accords saw four Arab Muslim states — the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan — establish ties with Israel.

Reports also emerged Israel was working with Saudi Arabia in the fight against Iran. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week said “many” in Saudi Arabia were hoping the Gulf kingdom would join the Abraham Accords.

Gantz stopped short of calling it defense cooperation, instead saying it was a “special security arrangement.”

“I don’t think it’s going to be a defense pact but we are going to develop defense relations with every country that we have relations with,” the former military chief said.

“We have this process of setting up (a) special security arrangement, and within this arrangement we can continue and develop our relations,” he said.

He also indicated that Israel has no issue with the sale of F-35 stealth jets to the UAE, saying that Jerusalem would preserve its “qualitative military edge.”

The Biden administration is currently reviewing the terms of the sale, which coincided with the U.S.-brokered normalization deal between Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem.

 

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