JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s defense minister on Monday said that Israel is helping build a U.S.-led regional air-defense alliance against Iran, and that the partnership has already thwarted attempted Iranian attacks.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he expected the upcoming visit by President Joe Biden to the region to further strengthen this fledgling alliance.
Israel considers Iran to be its greatest enemy, citing the country’s suspect nuclear program and its support for anti-Israel proxies across the region as threats. In recent years, it has formed a series of partnerships, some in the open and others covert, with Gulf Arab countries threatened by Iran.
Monday’s announcement by Gantz was the first time Israel has openly acknowledged a regionwide military alliance with Arab partners as part of its budding regional ties.
In testimony to parliament’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Gantz gave few details about the “Middle East Air Defense Alliance,” or MEAD, including what other countries are members or what types of operations it has carried out.
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