Israel and the United Arab Emirates are set to initiate mutual air traffic.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates will sign a commercial aviation deal soon, an Israeli official stated on Tuesday. The countries have recently established cordial relations, ahead of reciprocal delegation visits expected the coming week.
Direct air traffic between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi or Dubai would be a tourism and business boon for Israel and the Gulf power, while also easing Israelis’ travel to Asia.
Direct air travel between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi or Dubai is likely to spell a tourism and business boom for Israel and the Gulf power, while strengthening the new established diplomatic ties.
Saudi Arabia has agreed to assist such flights by letting them pass over its territory. Riyadh, however, has refused to establish formal ties with Israel, as the UAE and Bahrain did in September.
Ofer Malka, director-general of Israel’s Transportation Ministry, stated in an interview the UAE aviation deal is “more or less ready, and we will sign it in the coming days.” Israel has also allowed UAE commercial flights over its soil to westward destinations and back, Malka told Army Radio.
As reported by Reuters, an Israeli delegation accompanied by senior United States officials is due to fly out to Manama and Abu Dhabi on 18th-19th October. The flight will return to Tel Aviv on 20th October carrying UAE delegates. This will mark the first official visit to Israel from the UAE. Israeli and UAE officials have yet to confirm this report.
Israeli Cabinet approves UAE peace treaty
A day earlier, Israel’s Cabinet had unanimously approved the US-brokered peace treaty that had been signed on 15th September between Israel and UAE in Washington, United States. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince had agreed to meet “soon.”
On Monday, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan tweeted that he and Netanyahu had discussed “strengthening bilateral ties” and the “prospects for peace” in the region.
The Palestinians have slammed the deals as grave betrayals by the Arab states, further undermining their efforts to achieve self-determination.
This deal between Israel and UAE has been condemned by the Palestinian leadership as a betrayal of their quest for statehood in Israeli-occupied land.
UAE and Bahrain are the third and fourth Arab countries to have established formal ties with Israel. The others are Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively.