Israel to modernize Honduran fighter jets and helicopters

Marcus Moraes

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez in Jerusalem to seal a broad partnership in the defense and security fields.

Israel’s defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and his counterpart Samuel Reyes signed a declaration of cooperation in addition to the existing bilateral agreements, which includes the modernization of F5 and A37 fighter jets and helicopters of the Central American nation’s air force, reported Honduran paper La Prensa.

“The key word for the Honduran people is security and the fundamental topic is defense not only thought the armed forces but also the national police,” Hernandez said during last week’s visit.

Under the agreements, the two countries will strengthen ties in the field of technological exchange and intensify cooperation in areas such as military equipment and water resources in the agricultural sector. A specialized patrol vessel and a sophisticated land defense communication system will be developed.

“This is a great opportunity to strengthen our friendship for the sake of security, prosperity and peace,” Netanyahu said.

This is the second visit of the Honduran president to Israel; the first was in October 2015.

Two weeks ago, Netanyahu welcomed the president of Guatemala, a country which shares borders with Honduras in Central America. During the visit, Israel thanked the country for its pivotal role in creation of the Jewish state.

Honduras is home to about 200 Jews in a population of 8.5 million.