Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed with Trump in 2017. Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied reports that he gave the Trump administration a green light to sell F-35 fighter jets to the UAE as part of a normalization deal announced last Thursday.

Why it matters: U.S. law requires the administration to consult with Israel before selling arms to any Arab country to ensure Israel can maintain its qualitative military edge. It must also report to Congress on the matter.

This morning, Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that the normalization deal included a secret clause, approved by Netanyahu, about F-35 sales to the UAE.

  • Between the lines: Israel's status as the only Middle Eastern country to possess the most advanced fighter aircraft in America's arsenal currently gives it a clear technological advantage over other militaries in the region.

Netanyahu’s office responded with a statement, saying, “The peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates does not include any reference to arms sales and the U.S. has made it clear that it will always take strict care to maintain Israel's qualitative edge."

  • The prime minister's office did confirm, however, that the U.S. had been in talks about arms deals with Arab countries including the UAE in the weeks prior to the normalization deal.
  • The statement said Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed his opposition to the sale of advanced weapons to Arab countries, including those who have peace deals with Israel.
  • According to the statement, Netanyahu "was explicit in Israel's opposition to the sale of F-35s and other advanced weaponry to any country in the Middle East" during a July 7 meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
  • Netanyahu sent a letter the next day, via Friedman, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterating that "Israel's position remains unchanged even following the reaching of peace agreements," per the statement.

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu said at a meeting of the security cabinet today that he will object to any future sale of F-35 jets by the U.S. to the UAE, and will also convey those objections to Congress, ministers who attended the meeting tell me.

  • Netanyahu opened the cabinet meeting with a long speech, and denied that the normalization deal included any understandings about U.S. arms sales to the UAE.
  • Netanyahu read aloud to the ministers his July 8th letter to Pompeo, and emphasized a portion in which he wrote that Israel's objections would stand even for countries that moved “from being rivals to being partners."
  • He responded to one minister's question by saying he would speak to leaders in Congress to convey those objections.
  • He was then asked if there was any chance the White House had promised F-35’s to the UAE despite his opposition, and said: “I don’t think so."

A White House official denied there was a secret clause in the UAE-Israel normalization deal about arms sales to the UAE.

  • The prime minister's office declined to comment on this report.

Go deeper: How the Israel-UAE deal came together

Go deeper

Nov 25, 2020 - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Nov 25, 2020 - World

Palestinians prepare charm offensive for Biden

Abbas and Biden in Ramallah in 2010. Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Palestinian leaders are considering several initiatives that they hope will encourage strong relations with the incoming administration and make it easier for Biden to roll back Trump's policies.

Why it matters: After four years of deep crisis in U.S.-Palestinian relations, President Mahmoud Abbas desperately needs to rebuild his standing in Washington.

2 mins ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!