World, Middle East

UAE plane flies above Israel for first time

Move comes after UAE, Bahrain sign US-brokered agreements with Israel

Halime Afra Aksoy  | 14.10.2020 - Update : 15.10.2020
UAE plane flies above Israel for first time


A United Arab Emirates (UAE) Etihad Airways plane flew above Israeli skies for the first time Wednesday, according to Israeli Defense Ministry. 

“Historical event in the skies of Israel: The flight from Italy’s Milan to Abu Dhabi takes place for the first time in these minutes in coordination with the aviation authority of the Ministry of Transport,” Israeli Transportation Minister Miri Regev said on Twitter.

Regev described the event as one of the fruits of a normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE.

A direct commercial aviation line between Israel and the UAE is expected at the beginning of 2021, according to Israeli media.

The first Emirati ship loaded with goods, including iron, firefighting, cleaning and electronic equipment, arrived Monday at Haifa Port, Israel.

Bahrain also plans to establish a direct maritime line with Israel, according to Israeli media.

“The first Bahraini cargo ship will arrive soon from Khalifa bin Salman Port in Bahrain to Haifa Port,” Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said Tuesday in one of the controversial steps between the two countries.

Bahrain, UAE and Israel agreed to establish full diplomatic, cultural, and commercial relations following the signing of the controversial agreements Sept. 15 at the White House.

The moves have been followed by a series of announcements on agreements and contracts between firms from all three nations.

The normalization deals have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who say the deals ignore their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.  

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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