Israel approves deal to buy advanced US fighter jets

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli government has officially approved plans to buy American-made F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Thursday that the purchase would significantly strengthen Israel's military, but gave no other details.

Israel is planning on buying 20 of the warplanes for nearly $3 billion and will begin receiving the jets by 2015.

The warplanes would be capable of reaching Iran undetected by radar.

Israel considers Iran a strategic threat, citing its calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, its suspect nuclear program and missiles.

Israel has hinted it might take military action if international efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program fail.