Even before discussions began in Abu Dhabi, the delegates made aviation history when an Israeli commercial airliner flew into the Saudi region on a direct flight from Tel Aviv to the UAE capital.
Netanyahu tweeted, describing an agreement for formal ties with an Arab state, “The peace it looks for peace looks the same as not handing over the land occupied by Israel in the 1967 war is.”
Announced on 13 August, the normalization deal is the first such accommodation in more than 20 years between an Arab country and Israel and was triggered largely by Iran’s shared fears.
The UAE’s move left Palestinians frustrated, worried that it would undermine the long-standing Pan-Arab situation that led to the withdrawal of Israel-occupied territory – and the acceptance of the Palestinian state – as normal relations with Arab countries In exchange for.
Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and National Security Advisor Robert O. Bryan head the American delegation. The Israeli team is led by O’Brien’s counterpart, Mir Ben-Shabbat. Officials will explore bilateral cooperation in areas such as commerce and tourism, and Israeli defense envoys are due to separate visits to the United Arab Emirates.
“I prayed yesterday on the (Western) wall that Muslims and Arabs around the world are watching this flight, recognizing that we are all children of God, and that the future is not to be predetermined,” Kushner said. Told reporters on the Tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
Israeli officials hope the two-day visit will produce a date for the Washington signing ceremony, perhaps in early September, such as between Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
He could promote Trump a foreign policy ahead of his re-election bid in November.
The Trump administration has tried to unite other Sunni Arab countries worried about Iran to join Israel. Saudi Arabia, the most powerful when opening its airspace for El Al flight, has indicated that it is not ready.
Police and local media said that three people were killed and several others were injured in two separate explosions in Abu Dhabi and UAE’s tourist hub Dubai just hours before the plane took off.
Abu Dhabi’s government media office said two people were killed in the blast in the capital, which was hit by national daily KFC and Hardy’s restaurants.
In another incident, a person was killed by a gas cylinder burst in a restaurant in Dubai, local media reported.
Like all Al Al 737s, the aircraft was equipped with an anti-missile system, an Israeli spokesman said, and took security agents from the US Secret Service and Israeli Shin Bet to protect the delegation.
Passengers were welcomed in Arabic as well as English and Hebrew when boarded the pack, a gesture that marked the historic flight.
“We all wish salutations, peace and shalom, have a safe flight,” said the pilot, Capt. Tal Baker, over the intercom in Arabic, English and Hebrew, using all three languages to announce the flight number and destination.
Hanan Ashravi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that Kushner and his team were “scrambling to convince Arab and Muslim leaders as much as possible” to give Trump an edge in the election.
“They would be a recourse to a ridiculous settlement in the backdrop of a ridiculous settlement that would not bring peace to the region,” she said.
Reporting by Dan Williams and Jeffrey Heller; Additional reporting by Rami Job; Writing by Dan Williams and Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Peter Connie, Toby Chopra, William McLean