Israel is set to enter the Middle East arms market as a result of the Israeli-UAE peace deal. At the same time, major changes are taking place in the US arms sales policy in the Gulf countries of the Middle East.
After the 1963 Arab-Israeli war, US policy was not to sell any weapons to Gulf states that could pose a threat to Israel’s security. It is the policy of the United States to keep Israel militarily strong among the Arab countries. As Arab relations with Israel normalize, the United States is now approving the sale of many types of weapons to Arab countries.
On the other hand, Israel will also sell many of its weapons and technology to Arab countries. Israeli media have reported that Israel will sell a number of weapons and technologies to the United Arab Emirates. However, divisions have emerged within the Israeli government. One side believes the sale of arms will further consolidate Israel’s ties with the former enemy state. Another side thinks it could threaten Israel’s security.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Mossad are in favor of arms sales to the United Arab Emirates. Mossad is trying to sell Israel’s advanced weapon systems and high-tech technology in the UAE. But the Ministry of Defense is strongly opposed. The ministry fears Israel’s privacy could be leaked to the enemy.
Israel signed a peace deal with the United Arab Emirates last August. Many other countries, including Bahrain, Lebanon, and Oman, have expressed interest in a peace deal with Israel. Egypt was the first to recognize Israel. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visited Israel in 1979 and formally recognized Israel in the 1989 Egypt-Israel peace agreement.
Netanyahu’s office has denied the allegations in connection with a dispute over arms sales to the United Arab Emirates. No such request has been made in recent years, a statement said. And the Prime Minister would never approve any such proposal. It is believed that Israel still wants to keep the sale of arms a secret.
Iran’s name has come to the fore in rumors of Israeli arms sales to Arab countries. Bahrain and Oman have no conflicts with Israel. But the two countries are in a state of panic over neighboring Iran. Because the governments of these two countries fear that Iran may oust them from power. Although Bahrain and Oman are rich countries, they are very helpless to Iran’s military power. In addition to the huge fleet of fighter jets, Iran has a large number of ballistic missiles that they build themselves. In addition, Iran has recently made many improvements in drone technology. As a result, the two countries could be potential buyers of Israeli weapons.
Discussions are now under way on what kind of weapons Israel can sell to the UAE. Israel’s Iron Dome missile system may be at the top of the list. After a series of drone and cruise missile strikes on two Saudi oil fields in September 2019, Arab countries are feeling the need for a stronger missile defense system.
The United States has blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi oil. The most worrying aspect of this attack is the ability to hit the target accurately. Nineteen missiles were fired at Saudi oil fields. Of these, 16 missiles hit the target accurately. Of these, 14 missiles hit the oil depot.
However, there are doubts about whether Israel will want to transfer the Iron Dome missile defense system technology to the United Arab Emirates. Other Israeli weapons exported to Arabia could include the Missile Armored Heron Attack Drone and the Smart Bomb. Israel’s weapons are well-equipped to destroy Iran’s missile production facilities and stockpiles.
Israel’s lightning bomb Harpi was aimed at Iran’s air defense system. In addition, Israel has anti-tank missile Spike. It has already been reported that Israel has agreed to sell the fifth generation stealth fighter F-35 to the United Arab Emirates due to the peace agreement.
Since the 1963 Arab-Israeli war, US policy has been that no other country in the Middle East has a weapon stronger than Israel. It is US policy to establish Israel as the most militarily powerful country in the Middle East. Now that Israel is being recognized by the countries of the Middle East and is maintaining relations with Israel secretly and openly. As a result, the United States will now allow the sale of powerful weapons to other Arab countries. The Trump administration has agreed to sell F-35s as well as military drones.
Israel has become the sole owner of many of the United States’ most powerful advanced weapons because of its protectionist policy on arms sales to Arab countries to protect Israel. These weapons are not found in any other country in Arabia. Israel already owns US F-35s. Although Israel procures a wide range of modern weapons and technology from the United States, it is one of the world’s largest arms exporters. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, the world’s top arms importer, is also procuring many advanced technologies and weapons.
The Gulf state has a state ban on the sale of weapons by any Israeli military organization. The UAE is still subject to this Israeli condition. This means that Israel does not yet consider it appropriate to sell all types of weapons to the United Arab Emirates. However, on paper, Israel has not adhered to this policy for the last eight years. Over the past eight years, the UAE has purchased a wide range of weapons and technology from Israel.
Israel’s financial and security dealings with various Arab countries, especially the United Arab Emirates, are largely open secrets. Iran is now the common enemy of various countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, and Israel. These countries exchange intelligence on Iran. Several Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have enlisted the help of Israeli cyber technology and experts to deal with Iran.
In addition to the official channels, many Arab countries receive Israeli weapons on various routes. Morocco, for example, has three Israeli Heron drones. These drones can conduct observation activities at medium altitudes in the sky. France has used these drones before Morocco. After the French army decommissioned them, Morocco collected them. In the same way, various groups fighting the civil war in Libya through third parties have collected Israeli drones.