10:48 a.m. CST, December 22, 2011
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has canceled a $141 million defense deal with Turkey, a reflection of the steep deterioration in relations between the former allies.
Israeli officials said Thursday they are concerned that Turkey could deliver the state-of-the-art airborne intelligence units to third parties hostile to Israel.
They said the deal was signed in 2008.
Officials in Israel’s Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems, the manufacturer of the system, confirmed the deal was called off. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the matter. There was no immediate comment from Ankara.
The Israel-Turkey diplomatic crisis peaked last year when Israeli commandos raiding a Turkish protest ship headed for Gaza killed nine pro-Palestinian activists. Both sides said they acted in self defense.