Israel orders defense pact with Turkey canceled


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli government has ordered two national defense companies to cancel a more than $140 million contract with Turkey.

Under the deal, Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries would have provided airborne surveillance systems to the Turkish Air Force.

The deal reportedly was nixed by the Ministry of Defense, which said it would not renew the export licenses for the contract, according to the Israeli media. The licenses were not renewed "due to political considerations," Elbit said in a statement.

The systems are among the most advanced of their kind, according to the Israeli daily Globes, citing unnamed defense sources.

Prior to tension between Turkey and Israel, the companies sold Turkey military hardware including unmanned aerial vehicles.

The ban could harm the company’s bottom line, Elbit said.  

"Decisions on this matter have to do with the specific system rather than with the overall relationship," a defense official told Israeli media.

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