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April 20, 2021 10:29 am

Top Democrats Introduce Bill to Slow Sale of F-35s to the UAE

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avatar by i24 News

Israeli F-35 fighter jets are seen off the wing of a US Air Force refueling tanker, Oct. 12, 2020. Photo: US Air Force.

i24 News – US Senators Robert Menendez and Dianne Feinstein on Friday introduced a bill that could slow down the US sale of F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates.

Sen. Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), former chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, submitted legislation that would authorize congressional oversight of the sale.

The legislation seeks to protect Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the region, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

“I remain concerned with the implications of a sale of our most advanced fighter jet given numerous outstanding, unanswered questions about the implications of this sale for US national security, our technology interests, and implications for regional stability including the legal parameters of Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge,” Menendez said, as cited by JTA.

An AIPAC official, the main pro-Israel lobby, stated the group had not taken a position on the bill “although we appreciate the senators’ commitment to preserve Israel’s QME.”

US President Joe Biden previously placed the weapons deal on hold for review. His predecessor, Donald Trump, inked the deal following the Abraham Accords that normalized relations between Israel and the UAE.

However, last week the Biden administration notified Congress that the arms sale worth more than $23 billion to the UAE will proceed.

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