First direct flight between Israel and UAE takes off - WuzupNigeria
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First direct flight between Israel and UAE takes off


The flight, operated by Israeli airline El Al, took off at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to Abu Dhabi.

The plane, a Boeing 737-900 named after the central Israeli town, Kiryat Gat, had the word “peace” written in Arabic, English, and Hebrew above the pilot’s side window.

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The pilot, Tal Becker, told journalists it was the most exciting flight of his life and “a very special feeling’’.

The passengers included a large Israeli delegation, United States government advisor, Jared Kushner, and the security advisors of the U.S. and Israel, Robert O’Brien, and Meir Ben-Shabbat among others.

The aircraft was reportedly fitted with anti-rocket protection systems for security.

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Talks are scheduled between the delegations of Israel, the UAE, and the U.S. upon arrival, covering a wide range of topics from tourism to finance, with the aim of signing several cooperation agreements.

A meeting of O’Brien and Ben-Shabbat with the Emirati Security Advisor, Tahnoun bin Zayed, is also on the schedule.

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A return flight is planned for Tuesday.

On Aug. 13, Israel and the UAE announced a U.S.-brokered agreement to establish diplomatic ties in return for Israel suspending a controversial plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The deal makes the UAE the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan – and the first Arab Gulf country – to have diplomatic links with Israel.