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Israel developing NATO-style pact with regional allies — reports

Two Israeli and one American F-16 fighter jets fly alongside one another during a joint exercise in southern Israel in January 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Two Israeli and one American F-16 fighter jets fly alongside one another during a joint exercise in southern Israel in January 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israel and its regional allies are working to develop a joint defense pact to protect against the threat of Iranian drones, Israeli media reports, citing Israeli Air Force officials.

Air Force sources say that Israel may soon sign an alliance with Middle East partners, similar to that of NATO in Europe.

The opportunity for this arose following several normalization agreements between Israel and Arab countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which are geographically close to Iran.

The Israel Defense Forces view coordination between the countries as a “strategic asset” in defending against aerial threats that it did not previously have, officials say.

Last week, Israeli officials said they believed two drones, which were reportedly launched from Iran and intercepted by the US-led international coalition in Iraq last month, were aimed at Israel.

Israel has repeatedly warned that Iranian drones are a significant threat to the region — especially as Tehran arms proxies stationed along Israel’s borders.

The Israel Defense Forces have confirmed it intercepted at least four Iranian drones heading for Israel or the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent years.

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