First Ever Commercial Flight Between UAE And Israel Takes Place But Is Strongly Criticised By Palestinian Leaders

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First Ever Commercial Flight Between UAE And Israel Takes Place But Is Strongly Criticised By Palestinian Leaders

Photo depicts Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat, left, U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner, center, and U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, right, board the Israeli flag carrier El Al's airliner as they fly to Abu Dhabi for talks meant to put final touches on the normalization deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, at Ben-Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (Nir Elias/Pool Photo via AP)


The first ever commercial flight has taken place between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The flight comes as the two countries work towards a process of normalising relations and moving on from the historic, and in many ways ongoing, animosity between Israel and the Arab world.


The flight took place on Monday and carried an Israeli delegation and an American delegation, who are overseeing the process.


The delegation included Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump, and is seen by many experts in international relations as a move towards mutual co-operation over Iran, which both Israel, the United States and the UAE see as an enemy and threat. The plane also flew over Saudi Arabian airspace, again a first for an Israeli commercial plane. Saudi is seen as the key rival to Iran within the Middle-East.


Kushner said of the trip, which he called a historic breakthrough:


There is great urgency between the people of both countries to break down old barriers, to get to know each other, to form new and hopefully very deep friendships. They (the UAE) were very gracious to allow us to fly over their airspace, which they've never done before, for an Israeli commercial plane.


Ben-Shabbat, the Israeli national Security Advisor, spoke in the UAE:


We came here in broad daylight and before the eyes of all in a plane bearing the flag of Israel along with our American friends. Israel and the UAE have much in common. Our region is full of challenges and threats. But we have the strength and the ability to stand against them.


Within the Arab world, Israel only has diplomatic relations with Jordan and Egypt. In both cases, Jordan and Egypt have been at war with Israel, and many in the Arab world continue to resent Israel for its activities in Palestine.


Indeed, the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank see the normalisation of ties between Israel and the Arab world as potentially leading to the Palestinian people being forgotten about. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh spoke of his upset at the UAE flight, particularly the fact that the airplane was named after an Israeli settlement built on land that had been taken from Palestinians. He said in a statement:


"It hurts us very much today when an Israeli plane lands in the Emirates, under the flight name Kiryat Gat, the settlement which was built on the occupied Palestinian lands of the town of Fallujah in which Gamal Abdel Nasser was trapped, in a clear and a blatant violation of the Arab position toward the Arab-Israeli conflict."


This position was rejected by Kushner who took a swipe at the Palestinian position, saying:

The very few who have been critical of this peace agreement are the ones with a long track record of failure and trapping their people in misery and poverty.

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Thinking Humanity: First Ever Commercial Flight Between UAE And Israel Takes Place But Is Strongly Criticised By Palestinian Leaders
First Ever Commercial Flight Between UAE And Israel Takes Place But Is Strongly Criticised By Palestinian Leaders
The first ever commercial flight has taken place between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The flight comes as the two countries work towards a process of normalising relations and moving on from the historic, and in many ways ongoing, animosity between Israel and the Arab world. The flight took place on Monday and carried an Israeli delegation and an American delegation, who are overseeing the process.
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