Israel inks pact to buy F-35s

Israel signed an agreement to purchase 20 F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States.

The contract is valued at about $2.75 billion.

“The signing of this defense contract is an event of great strategic and historic significance,” said Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, in a statement.

“The most advanced fighter jet in the world today, the F-35 will enhance Israel’s ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat or combination of threats, from anywhere within the Middle East,” he said.

Oren said the agreement was mutually beneficial in serving the goals of Israel and the United States, as Israel’s security ensures greater overall stability in the region and thus better guarantees global security.

The statement also pointed out that the billions of dollars that Israel spends on defense contracts in the United States generates thousands of jobs in the U.S. and in Israel. — jta