- US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper met with Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday as both countries continue to discuss ways to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) in the region.
- Esper and Gantz held several consultations at Ben-Gurion Airport with Israel’s leading weapons manufactures, including Rafael and the Israel Ministry of Defence (IMOD)’s Directorate of the Defense Research and Development.
- Speaking at a press conference, Netanyahu said: “We have received more than security — the American pledge to maintain Israel’s military qualitative edge. I think this is an important achievement for the State of Israel. We also know that we all face a common threat, and understand this well. It’s important that the security establishment has received a pledge from the US to maintain our edge in the region and in general.”
- The US agreed to Israel’s requests, including an additional squadron of F-35s, as well as a squadron of the latest model of F-15s, helicopters, refuelling planes and precision-guided bombs. The US agreed to help Israel buy the V-22 helicopter-plane, which is designed for long-range special forces’ missions. The administration also pledged to grant Israel access to innovative technologies.
- As Esper attended meetings in Israel, the Trump administration notified Congress it intends to sell 50 F-35 stealth fighter jets to the UAE, the same number that Israel has ordered.
Coronavirus Update: Israel continue reopening on Sunday
Coronavirus cabinet decided last night to postpone reopening high street shops until the following Sunday, November 8, unless the daily number of new COVID-19 cases drops to 500. It also decided that this Sunday, in addition to first to fourth grades, guest houses, B&Bs, hair and cosmetic salons and businesses described as one-on-one such as personal training and driving lessons, as well as synagogues limited to ten worshippers, would also reopen.