http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=676569&fid=942 Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman: If the objection is for commercial reasons, it is not legitimate. Dror Marom 27 Mar 03 17:29 The Bush administration has informed Israeli officials in Washington that it opposes Israelâ€™s selling three Phalcon AWACS planes to India. Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) said, â€œIf the objection is for commercial reasons, it is not legitimate. The deal with India is completely different from the one with China.â€ Steinitz told Army Radio, â€œIf there was a risk that the planes might threaten the US, weâ€™d take that into consideration, as an ally. However, if this is merely commercial competition, it is absolutely out of place. Although it would be unwise to confront Washington, but Israel must preserve its interests.â€ The reports from Washington claim that the administration informed Israel that the $1 billion special military grant was contingent on canceling the Phalcon deal with India, which is worth almost $1 billion. In 1999, under pressure from President Bill Clinton, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak cancelled the deal to sell four Phalcon planes to China. A probably reason for the US request to cancel sophisticated early-warning planes to India is the tension between the two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, and the USâ€™s delicate position arising from the Iraq War. The US is worried that supplying AWACS might accelerate the arms race in the already tense subcontinent. India has become one of the largest buyers of Israeli arms in recent years. Following the cancellation of the Phalcon deal with China, it was widely thought that the US administration was trying to improve the Boeingâ€™s (NYSE:BA) opportunities in the global AWACS market by pressuring Israel Aircraft Industries subsidiary Elta Electronics Industries not to sell AWACS to the Chinese Air Force.