UAE’s Etihad Airways makes first-known flight to Tel Aviv to deliver aid for Palestinians

May 20, 2020 by JNS
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The United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways announced that it will fly to Israel to deliver coronavirus aid for the Palestinians, marking the first-known direct commercial flight between the two nations.

An Etihad Airways Airbus A380-861. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

“Etihad Airways operated a dedicated humanitarian cargo flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv on 19 May to provide medical supplies to the Palestinians,” said the airline, according to the Associated Press. “The flight had no passengers on board.”

While Israel and the UAE do not have formal diplomatic relations, it is believed that both countries maintain clandestine ties. Furthermore, both are close U.S. allies and concerned about Iranian aggression in the region.

According to the report, an Israeli official said that the plane would deliver humanitarian aid from the UAE to the Palestinians through the World Food Program. The flight was coordinated with the Israeli government.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have reported 391 cases of the coronavirus with two deaths.


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