The “peace flight” connects Israel with the United Arab Emirates for the first time

Mikel Ayestaran FOLLOW Jerusalem Correspondent Updated: 08/31/2020 18:15 PM Save Related news

The “new era” between Israel and the Arab world announced by Benjamin Netanyahu began aboard a Boeing 737. Two weeks after the announcement of normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the first official direct flight of a commercial airline between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi. Flight LY971 of the Israeli national company El Al went down in history after making a journey lasting just over three hours. “We are going to achieve a warm peace with the Emirates,” declared the Israeli prime minister hours after the aircraft landed on the Gulf runway. The objective of this first official visit is to work on the road map to achieve this normalization of relations in exchange for which the Jewish State undertakes to temporarily freeze the annexation of the West Bank.

The plane chosen for this day was decorated with the word “peace” in English, Arabic and Hebrew on its back. Another fact for history is that Saudi Arabia granted permission to the Israeli aircraft to fly over its airspace, what is not clear is that the kingdom maintains this policy for future connections between the two countries.

The flight was commercial, but the ticket consisted of members of the official delegations of Israel and the United States, main promoter of the peace agreement between the two countries, and journalists from the main national media. National security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat, who was in charge of addressing the Emirati media and did so in perfect Arabic to tell them that this trip was “a dream come true,” leads the delegation sent by the Jewish state, in which There are also representatives from the prime minister’s office and the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology or the Economy. The US representation is led by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser for Middle East issues, Jared Kushner, and the special representative for Iran, Brian Hook.

The official visit will last two days and is mainly economic in nature, according to the Israeli media, which announce a new trip for the near future with objectives more linked to cooperation in defense and security. In the last week a debate was opened on the possible sale of American F35 fighter jets and Reaper drones to the Emirates after the signing of this agreement since Israel, despite the good harmony between the two countries, wants to preserve its technological and military superiority in the region.

Emirates accepted the normalization of relations in exchange for Israel promised to freeze the annexation plan for the West Bank, one of Netanyahu’s electoral promises. If the so-called Abraham Treaty goes ahead, the Gulf country will become the third Arab country to sign peace with the Jewish state. From the White House they announced that others will soon follow a path that breaks with the Arab strategy of recent years that made the creation of a Palestinian state a requirement for this step. Although the Emiratis presented it to their public as an achievement in the face of annexation, they never counted on the Palestinians and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told the media that he was “deeply hurt” by seeing El Al’s plane landing on the Gulf.

Donald Trump, in the middle of an electoral race, plans to stage the treaty with a trilateral summit in Washington with Benjamin Netanyahu and Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed. Meanwhile, both countries are working on a roadmap that includes the signing of agreements on investment, tourism, air connections and security.

Emirates becomes Israel’s gateway to the Persian Gulf, an advance that allows it to raise its flag against Iran, its great regional enemy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic issued a statement as soon as the normalization of relations was made public in which it pointed out that the pact is a “strategic stupidity of Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv that will undoubtedly reinforce the axis of resistance in the region.”

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