Since the signing of the Abraham Accords about two years ago, Israeli defense and IDF officials have held about 150 meetings with their counterparts in Arab countries in the region, not including Jordan and Egypt, resulting in more than $3 billion in defense procurement transactions, Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed.
The Abraham Accords, which were signed in September 2020, established diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and shortly after that with Sudan and Morocco.
The Abraham Accords, the first pact between an Arab country and Israel in 25 years, is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to the region next week, Gantz also related to the drones dispatched by the Hezbollah terror organization in the past week from Lebanon toward Israel’s Karish gas rig and said they were produced by Iran.
The reduction of Iran’s power and influence in the region, as well as the improvement of the nuclear agreement discussed between the west and the Islamic Republic, will be at the center of the meeting with Biden, Gantz said.
Gantz revealed last month that the Middle East Air Defense Program (MEAD) has already thwarted Iranian attempts to challenge Israel and other countries, apparently confirming reports that Israel has developed a regional defense system shared with other Arab countries in the area.
Recent reports in the media told of unprecedented actions that have recently been taken by Israel to strengthen operational cooperation with neighboring air forces, with the objective of expanding Israel’s strategic depth and its ability to intercept threats beyond the country’s borders while defending the other countries as well.
Some reports say that Israel has deployed advanced warning systems in several Gulf countries, including in some that do not have official ties with the Jewish state, essentially creating a regional defense umbrella.
Most of the collaborations are confidential so as not to embarrass the partners in the emerging alliance. The parties’ common interest is the defense against the spread of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) sponsored terrorism, which includes attacks with drones and cruise missiles on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by Iranian proxies, including the Houthis in Yemen.
In this context, Biden is expected to visit the Palmachim airbase and will be presented with several defense systems, including the Arrow, David’s Sling, Iron Dome missile defense systems, and the high-power laser interception system, which is still under development.