US Defense chief due in Israel Thursday
Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrives in Israel on Thursday, a week after he joined Defense Minister Benny Gantz in issuing a declaration in Washington confirming US commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East. The declaration came amid discussions on the package of advanced systems following the sale of US F-35 stealth fighters to the United Arab Republic. Unconfirmed sources report that Israel will be granted access to highly classified satellites, such as SBIRS, and early deliveries of critical aerial platforms. A bipartisan bill in Congress also calls for the supply of advanced US bunker-buster bombs in view of the accelerated, covert development of Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity.