Israel and the United Kingdom on Monday signed an agreement to share information on military readiness, joint training, and the development of joint equipment, in a bid to bolster the defense alliance.
The move comes at a time of heightened tensions between the two allies, after a wave of deadly attacks by Palestinian militants, including the murder of two Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem and the killing of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank.
The pact, which was announced at a ceremony in Tel Aviv, also calls for the establishment of joint facilities to conduct joint military operations.
According to the agreement, the sharing of operational information and other information will be “part of the framework for joint defense and security cooperation.”
The agreement is aimed at increasing security cooperation and boosting the capability of Israel and Britain in the region, said a statement from the foreign ministry.
Israel has long struggled to maintain security on its own, despite the massive Israeli presence in the occupied West Bank, and as a result it is facing a growing security threat.
The agreement with Britain is a part of the overall strategic partnership between the countries, which includes a major military exercise next year, as well as talks on defense cooperation between Israel and Germany, the second largest European country after France.
The military cooperation agreement between Israel, the United States and Britain also aims to boost the security of the European Union.
Israel, the world’s top exporter of arms, is the world leader in military equipment, but has struggled to compete with its Arab neighbors in terms of modern weaponry.
In 2014, Israel suffered a deadly series of bombings and shootings in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which left at least 12 Palestinians dead.
In recent years, Israel has faced a spate of violent attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinians, including two attacks that killed six Israelis.
The security cooperation agreement is the first of its kind between Israel’s defense and intelligence ministries and the foreign ministries of Britain and France.
In addition to military cooperation, the two governments also have agreed to enhance the intelligence-sharing relationship, according to a statement.
Israel is currently conducting a massive military exercise in the Gaza Strip, which is slated to last for at least one month.