Israel Cancels Air Surveillance Deal With Turkey

Al Arabiya26.12.2011 Turkey
Israel Cancels Air Surveillance Deal With Turkey

Israel Cancels Air Surveillance Deal With Turkey

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Israel cancelled the sale of air surveillance equipment to Turkey over fears that it might fall into the hands of countries hostile to the Jewish state, the Haaretz daily said.

The report said that the contract was signed in 2008 with Elbit Systems and worth some $140 million.

Ynetnews, reporting the same story, said both the Defense Ministry and Elbit had confirmed the cancellation.

Haaretz’s website said the decision was made “out of security concerns, principally in consideration of Turkey’s ties with enemy states of Israel, particularly Iran.”

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post reported that the coordination mechanism designed to prevent misunderstandings and potential clashes between Turkish and Israeli military planes over the Mediterranean Sea, is back.

Turkey ended its aerial cooperation with the Israeli military in 2009, in protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza that killed about 1,400 Palestinians.

A senior official of the Israeli Air Force, who kept his identity anonymous, told the newspaper, that the coordination mechanism was recently reactivated as part of the two countries’ efforts to “stabilize and improve ties.”

He said the Israeli Air Force would also likely invite Turkey to participate in a large-scale international aerial drill that it will be hosting in 2013. “There is nothing preventing them from participating,” the official said.

Meanwhile, according to the Turkey-based newspaper, Today’s Zaman, about two weeks ago, the Turkish Military Attaché to Israel attended an Israeli Air Force briefing for foreign military officers at the Ovda Air Force Base on the sidelines of the Israeli joint maneuvers with the Italian Air Force.

“Ties with Turkey are extremely important to Israel, but we have a security responsibility over any product that is given approval for export,” an Israeli security official told Haaretz.

Once flourishing Turkish-Israeli ties plunged into deep crisis last year when Israeli forces killed 9 Turks in a raid on a Turkish ferry, part of an activist flotilla carrying aid to Gaza.


Source: Al Arabiya; Haaretz; The Jerusalem Post; Ynetnews; Today’s Zaman; Photo:  Reuters



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