The cockpit of an Etihad Airways A380 plane. (illustrative) (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File) AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File

An airliner from the United Arab Emirates landed in Israel on Tuesday, marking the first time a commercial flight was made between the two nations.

By Ezra Stone, United with Israel

On Tuesday evening, an Etihad Airways plane arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, completing a direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Israel.

While the fight didn’t take very much time, it’s a historic occasion because it marks the first time a commercial airliner flew directly from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Israel, two nations that do not currently have official diplomatic relations, similar to most states in the Arab world.

The covert ties between Israel and the UAE are widely known, with Israelis visiting Dubai and back-channel discussions regarding the Iranian threat existing for years. The Israeli national anthem was also recently played at a sporting event in the UAE, and Israeli diplomats such as Miri Regev and Israel Katz made visits to the Arab nation in 2019.

UAE joins other Arab nations enjoying warming relations with Israel, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman. Jordan and Egypt both signed peace treaties with Israel and maintain full diplomatic relations.

The flight form UAE on Tuesday brought 16 tons of humanitarian aid destined for the Palestinian Authority (PA), which Israel transferred after the plane landed.



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