Outgoing US Secretary of Defence James Mattis reportedly scuppered a $500 million arms deal between Israel and Croatia, leaving Tel Aviv red-faced and having to apologise.
The deal involved 12 F-16 fighter jets, which Israel wanted to modify to a higher spec and deliver to Croatia. In order for Israel to sell the jets to a third party such as Croatia, it needs approval from the US which gives billions of dollars in aid to the Zionist state every year.
According to American news agency Axios, Mattis rejected the request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to sell the fighter jets to a third party. The request was rejected because Washington accused Tel Aviv of selling the F-16 fighter jets equipped with new and sophisticated Israeli made electronic systems, so as to give at an edge compared to US made fighter jets.
Israel has a long history of arming some of the most brutal regimes in the world; it not only sells arms to autocrats to give them a technological edge on the battle field, it also supplies them with the latest technology to go after dissenting voices in the country. On this occasion it seems the outgoing Secretary torpedoed the deal to protect American security.
According to the Israeli officials, cited by I24 News, Netanyahu spoke to Mattis about two weeks ago, before he sent a letter of resignation to President Trump. Mattis reportedly told Netanyahu that it was not possible for him to change the terms, saying the US typically goes to great lengths to help its closest ally in the Middle East.
"For reasons we don't fully understand, the Americans hardened their conditions and, apparently, we misread their position on the deal. Practically, the -16 deal with Croatia is dead and we don't think it is possible to get an agreement that will reconcile the US conditions and the Croatian demands in the tender," the report quoted the official as saying.
The official added that, following the rejection from Mattis, Israel now has "to apologise to Croatia for the deal falling apart and move on."