Preparation for War?: Israel, US and UK Conduct First Joint F-35 Drills Over Mediterranean

(June 27, 2019 / JNS) Israeli F-35 fighter jets participated this week in an international exercise alongside F-35s from the United States and United Kingdom, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday.

The exercise, the first of its kind, was dubbed “Tri-Lightning” (a reference to the aircraft’s official designation: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II) and took place above the Mediterranean Sea. It involved F-35s from all three nations simulating combat against advanced aircraft and previous-generation fighters, in multiple scenarios, with the purpose of improving interoperability and coordination in air operations among the three countries.

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IDF Paratroopers Accidentally Uncover Ancient Guard Tower From Time of King Hezekiah

In a tale of past meets present, a group of IDF soldiers discovered a guard tower used by their ancestors and fellow warriors from the Kingdom of Judah. The troops connected with their Biblical counterparts when they took part in an archaeological dig, uncovering a watchtower from the era of King Hezekiah in southern Israel. It is believed that the tower was built in the 8th century BCE.

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With No Clear Alternatives, Israel Maintains Status Quo in Gaza

Despite ongoing attacks emanating from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Israel recently re-extended the Gaza fishing zone to 10 nautical miles and allowed Qatar to deliver $20 million in cash for humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s 2 million residents.

Israel’s policy towards Gaza has been to maintain the status quo—something that has upset many of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supporters and even has some opposition politicians to the left voicing support for a more forceful response.

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