The first-ever commercial flight flew from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on Monday to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through Saudi airspace.
The El Al flight is carrying an Israeli delegation headed by national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabat and US diplomats led by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and special adviser.
Kushner described the flight as “historic” that is being watched by all in the Arab and Islamic world.
“This is a very hopeful time and I believe that so much peace and prosperity is possible in this region and throughout the world,” Kushner said in statements cited by the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation.
According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, an Israeli-Emirati-US meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi.
The flight came as a shock to the Palestinians, with Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh saying that, “It is very painful for Palestinians to see Israeli plane landing at Emirati airport…”
On Aug. 13, the UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalize their relations, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.
Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Authority, have denounced the UAE-Israel deal, saying it does not serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority said that any normalization with Israel should be based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative on the principle of “land for peace” and not “peace for peace” as Israel calls.
Source: Days of Palestine