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Israel will oppose any deal to sell US-made F-35 fighter jets to Qatar, the country’s intelligence minister said. Doha has reportedly already submitted a formal request to Washington to greenlight such a deal.

Speaking to Israeli Army Radio on Sunday, Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said Tel Aviv would firmly oppose the sale of the 5th-generation stealth jets to the Gulf state.

“Our security and military superiority in the region are the most significant things for us,” Cohen stressed.

Our region has still not turned into Switzerland.

Qatar’s formal request for the jets was reported on Wednesday by Reuters, which cited three unnamed officials familiar with the deal. Negotiations on the planes have not been confirmed yet, neither by Washington nor by Doha.




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UAE & US seek to reach preliminary F-35 deal by December, circumventing Israeli objections – report



Qatar may be following the path of the United Arab Emirates, which was given a chance for a potential F-35 purchase after it struck a US-brokered agreement on normalization of ties with Israel. Back in August, Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu voiced open opposition toward the potential UAE-US deal. However, reports suggest Washington was actively seeking to maneuver past Israel’s opposition and strike a preliminary deal with the UAE by December.

Still, there are further obstacles for the potential sale of F-35s to the Gulf nation. The US’ own laws effectively prohibit sales of advanced armaments to nations of the Middle East except for Israel.

Washington’s foreign policy includes the so-called “qualitative military edge restriction,” that ensures Israel has superior military hardware in its arsenal which allows the US ally to fend off multiple adversaries at the same time. At the same time, the New York Times reported that Netanyahu’s objection to the deal is just a facade, as he privately approved the purchase.




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UAE hopes normalization deal dispels Israeli doubts over US F-35 sale, despite Netanyahu’s open opposition



Unlike the UAE, Qatar maintains ties with Israel’s arc

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Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack

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At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.

Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.

Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.

No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.

The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.

What happened?

The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.

About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.

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An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.

news agency that two teachers were injured.

Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.

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Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.

“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.

The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table. 

The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.

Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”




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Western pharma is ‘all about profit’: Philippines’ Duterte vows to solely procure coronavirus vaccines from Russia & China



Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.

“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.

Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”

Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.




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Sputnik V questions ANSWERED: Head of team financing world’s first Covid-19 vaccine explains formula to critics



Think your f

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At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official

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At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.

The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi

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