The diplomatic crisis with Turkey intensified on Thursday after the Defense Ministry decided not to renew an export license for Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to sell advanced intelligence systems to the Turkish Air Force.
Defense officials said that Israel was working to improve ties with Turkey but that the Defense Ministry is "responsible for every product that receives an export license" and that it could not currently permit the delivery of the intelligence-gathering systems to Turkey.
"This has to do strictly with this system and should not impact the overall ties between the countries," an official said.
The $140 million deal, signed in 2009, was for the sale of the advanced infrared Lorop camera and associated equipment. The camera was developed by Elbit subsidiary El-Op and is installed in a pod which can be carried on combat aircraft. The systems were supposed to be delivered to Turkey in the coming months.