Trump approved F-22 jets for Israel – report
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper reportedly told Israel during his Thursday visit that the Trump administration had approved the sale of the F-22 Raptor and precision-guided bombs to Israel, according to the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat paper, quoting “senior sources in Tel Aviv.” The report was not confirmed by the US or Israel.
DEBKAfile: Although Israel sought the highly sophisticated F-22 in the past, its sale was prohibited to foreign countries and, anyway, production was halted in 2011. All the same, the F-22 sale was said by Asharq Al-Awsat to have been approved as one of Washington’s promised steps for guaranteeing the IDF’s qualitative edge in the region, after its consent to sell F-35 stealth fighters to the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, the White House updated Congress on the coming transaction of 50 planes worth some $10.4 bn.