An Israeli bizjet (9H-VFJ) was spotted by flight trackers using the Flightradar24 software online departing from Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday morning, on a direct flight to Sudan, reports Hebrew-language Ynet reporter Itay Blumental.
שימו לב לזה: @avischarf גילה הבוקר מטוס צ'רטר ממלטה (9H-VFJ) שהמריא ישירות מנתב"ג לחרטום בירת סודן! זאת הפעם השנייה אי פעם שזה קורה- בפעם הקודמת זה היה סיוע רפואי לאדריכלית היחסים עם ישראל שמתה לבסוף מקורונה @ynetalerts pic.twitter.com/dAHM53EJtJ
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) October 21, 2020
According to Hebrew-language foreign affairs investigative reporter Barak Ravid, “an Israeli bizjet made a direct flight this morning from Tel Aviv to Khartoum. The jet is making its way back right now. This is a very very unusual flight.”
BREAKING: Amid negotiations between the U.S., Sudan and Israel on a possible normalization move an Israeli bizjet made a direct flight this morning from Tel Aviv to Khartoum. The jet is making its way back right now. This is a very very unusual flight pic.twitter.com/n6A54pMuKl
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) October 21, 2020
This is the second time there has been such a flight; the previous time, the flight was dedicated for medical assistance to Sudan from Israel.
Israel officials predicted Wednesday that the United States would announce another deal to establish diplomatic ties between Israel and a Muslim-majority or Arab nation before the American presidential election next month.
Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis said in an interview with Galei Tzahal Army Radio Wednesday morning, “I have a reasonable basis upon which to believe that the announcement will be made before November 3. That, if you will permit me, is what I understand from my sources,” he said.
Likewise, Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told Channel 13 News that he believes the Jewish State is “very close to normalizing ties with Sudan.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he hoped Sudan will soon recognize Israel. “We are working diligently with them to make the case for why that’s in the Sudanese government’s best interest to make that sovereign decision,” Pompeo said. “We hope that they’ll do that, and we hope that they’ll do that quickly.”
President Donald Trump agreed to lift Sudan from the US list of foreign state sponsors of terrorism after Sudan compensated American families of victims of terror.
On Tuesday, Sudan said it completed a transfer of $335 million in compensation payments to US families of victims of terrorist attacks; within hours, Trump said he would make good on his promise to remove Sudan from the US blacklist.
There was no mention of an agreement to make peace with Israel as part of the deal between the US and Sudan, although the US has repeatedly pressured Khartoum about the matter.
Foreign Minister Omer Qamar Aldin told reporters on Tuesday, however, that there was no link between being removed from the terror list and the possibility of a normalization agreement with Israel.