The US Defense Department has asked Congress to authorize a $65 million sale of 3,000 smart bombs to Israel. The deal, if concluded, would be the first sale of arms to Israel by the US since the Second Lebanon War. Recently, Israel has objected to US plans to sell smart bombs to Saudi Arabia - one of the issues discussed on Wednesday by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Defense Minister Amir Peretz. A Pentagon spokesperson said Friday that it was in the US's interests to help strengthen Israel's defenses, and that the sale was in line with the US policy of working to achieve peace in the Middle East, help Israel reach an agreement with its neighbors, and "anchor the stability of the entire region." In a related development, The Jerusalem Post also learned that Israel plans to ask the US for its fifth-generation stealth F-22 fighter jets, which are currently banned for export.
IAF to ask US for new cutting-edge jets