Israel opened its embassy in the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, assigning Eitan Na’eh to serve as acting ambassador. One of the mission’s first priorities will be to find a permanent office. Similarly, the UAE cabinet approved opening an embassy in Tel Aviv. Additionally, the Jewish State is scheduled to open a consulate in Dubai, an embassy in Bahrain, and a liaison office in Rabat, Morocco, in the coming weeks.
Chevron and other energy companies developing the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields signed an agreement with Israel Natural Gas Lines to lay a pipeline between Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Egypt. The contract, valued at $235 million, will allow Egypt to export more of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) it buys from Israel to Europe.
The U.S. and Israel
The new U.S. National Security Advisor for President Biden, Jake Sullivan, spoke with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat. According to a statement, the two discussed, “ opportunities to enhance the partnership over the coming months, including by building on the success of Israel’s normalization arrangements.”
During a Senate confirmation hearing for President Biden’s nomination for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said that the new Biden administration would consider Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that the newly constructed U.S. embassy would remain in the city. The Senate has since confirmed Blinken.
In a video message posted to Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration.
Before President Trump left office, he ordered U.S. Military Central Command (CENTCOM) to expand to include Israel. The shift in policy comes as Arab states are increasingly willing to cooperate with the Israeli military.
Israeli Military Technology
Elbit demonstrated its HattoriX AI-assisted, man-portable fire support system to potential European customers. Already operating in the IDF, the system enables ground-based Forward Observers and Forward Air Controllers to precisely identify and broadcast targeting information for other supporting fire control units.
Foreign Military Sales
A report in Haaretz suggested Israel has approved the deployment of Iron Dome batteries delivered to the U.S. Army to the Persian Gulf. The air defense will protect American military bases from rocket, missile, and mortar fire.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) won contracts with an unnamed central Asian country to supply two Heron Mk II unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). Under the agreements, valued at tens of millions of dollars, IAI will outfit the drones with reconnaissance payloads for border protection missions.
An unmanned NATO country purchased DSIT’s PointShield Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS) system, according to the company statement. The monitoring equipment enables real-time detection of underwater threats to protect naval bases, pipelines, and other offshore assets.
The Slovenian Army announced that it had successfully tested a Rafael Spike LR missile mounted on an Oshkosh light tactical fighting vehicle. The exercise highlighted the combination of Spike LR’s ultra-mobile launching platform with its beyond the line-of-sight targeting abilities.