Israel tried to build it's own fighters. The Nesher and Kfir were developed from the French Mirage, and both showed deficiencies which kept them from being fully successful third generation fighters. The Lavi program was disastrous proving Israel could not afford to design and build a modern combat aircraft. The fact is that the days when a small nation could build a first-class fighter have passed.
Five people killed in car crash near Hebron (Haaretz)
from the article: IAF pilot and navigator feared dead after F-16I crashes in Negev