Israel to return to JSF project; US ties improve

Israel will return to be a partner in the development of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) the future jet fighter being developed by the US, after the Israeli participation was put on hold following the Chinese arms deal crisis. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met Friday in Washington and agreed to have Israel return to the project. A joint statement put out by Israel and the US states that Israel will continue to take part in the project as a "valued" partner and that the US is committed to sell the JSF planes to Israel when the project is completed. The Israeli participation in the JSF development was stopped as part of the US sanctions against Israel following the Israeli-Chinese deal of upgrading "Harpy" UAV's, which was done without prior consultation with the US.