Photo Credit: The White House
King Hamed bin Issa of Bahrain meets with President Trump on his visit to Bahrain, May 21, 2017.

The Kingdom of Bahrain announced late Thursday that it will permit all services and flights to and from the United Arab Emirates to cross its airspace, including to and from the State of Israel.

“All flights to and from the UAE can use Bahrain airspace, the country’s state news agency reported Thursday, citing the aviation authority. Although Israel was not specifically named, the Jewish State is included in the decision, which cuts flying time between the various states in the region by several hours.

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The decision came at the request of the UAE and followed that of Saudi Arabia by less than a week. It comes in the wake of an historic peace agreement made last month between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

High-ranking Israeli and US officials flew to Abu Dhabi from Tel Aviv aboard the country’s national carrier, El Al Airlines, for the first official commercial flight traveling through Saudi airspace from Israel to the UAE this week. The same route was taken for the return flight, also through Saudi airspace, which cut the flight time by several hours.

Last month analysts opined that Bahrain and/or Oman could be the next Gulf states to formalize ties with Israel; however, Bahrain quickly issued a statement insisting it would stand with Saudi Arabia in backing the Palestinian Authority’s opposition to any form of peace with Israel until there was a complete withdrawal to the 1948 Armistice Lines, among a number of other completely unrealistic conditions listed in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative advanced by Riyadh.

Nevertheless, senior White House adviser and Trump presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner maintained in statements to the media that it was entirely possible, and logical, that all 22 Arab states in the region will “make peace” with Israel, sooner rather than later.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.