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Historic First Commercial Flight Landed from Israel to UAE

Historic First Commercial Flight Landed from Israel to UAE
Israel’s National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat speaks Arabic at UAE airport ceremony

 The historic first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE has landed, marking a major step in normalising relations after the announcement of a peace deal.

The El Al airliner made the three-hour trip, carrying a delegation of Israeli and US officials.

The flight was allowed to cross Saudi Arabian airspace, normally blocked to Israeli air traffic.

Announced on 13 August, the normalisation deal is the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel in more than 20 years and was catalysed largely by shared fears of Iran.

The UAE has become only the third Arab country in the Middle East to recognise Israel since its founding in 1948.

Historic First Commercial Flight Landed from Israel to UAE

On Saturday the UAE repealed a law boycotting Israel which had been in place since 1972, and earlier this month the two countries opened direct telephone services for the first time.

Mr Trump's administration has claimed credit for brokering the deal in which the UAE has become the first Gulf Arab country to recognise Israel.

Speaking before the flight took off, Mr Kushner said: "Well, this is a historic flight, we hope that this will start an even more historic journey for the Middle East and beyond..."

He continued: "I prayed yesterday at [Jerusalem's Western] wall that Muslims and Arabs from throughout the world will be watching this flight, recognising that we are all children of God and that the future does not have to be pre-determined by the past."

"This is a very hopeful time and I believe that so much peace and prosperity is possible in this region and throughout the world," Mr Kushner said.

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