Croatia cancels F-16 deal with Israel due to U.S. objections

James Mattis (L), shown here with Netanyahu, objected to the Israel-Croatia deal. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/pool/ Getty Images

The Croatian government announced today it is abandoning a plan to buy U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets from Israel after the Trump administration objected to the $500 million deal.

Why it matters: This is one of the most serious rifts between Israel and the U.S. since Trump took office. Pentagon and State Department officials had contended Israel was taking advantage of the U.S. by selling the 12 jets, upgraded with Israeli technology, which were originally supplied to Israel 30 years ago as U.S. military aid.

Israel fears election meddling by foreign power

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Stephanie Keith via Getty Images

Nadav Argaman, director of Israel's Shin Bet domestic security and intelligence service, has said there's a high probability a foreign power will try to meddle in Israel's April 9 elections in a similar manner to Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Details: Speaking yesterday at Tel Aviv University, Argaman said Shin Bet is preparing for meddling attempts by a foreign superpower, potentially through social media or cyberattacks. He said he doesn't know what goal would be served by such a foreign intervention.

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