Photo Credit: Haim Zach (GPO)
NSC head Meir Ben-Shabbat (L) and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin (2nd from right) at Ben Gurion International before departure to Bahrain, October 18, 2020.

Israel’s Transportation Ministry has agreed to sign an historic aviation agreement with the United Arab Emirates for 28 weekly direct flights between Ben Gurion International Airport, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The flights are slated to start within the next several weeks, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 12 news reporter Amalia Douek, and Sky News Arabia.

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Also announced on Sunday was the news that Beirut-born scholar of Sephardic Judaism, Rabbi Eli Abadie, is planning to relocate from New York to Dubai by November 1 to become the second full-time rabbi for the UAE’s growing Jewish community.

High-ranking Israeli and American delegations arrived in Bahrain Sunday morning for talks aimed at translating last month’s White House peace accords into practical plans and concrete agreements, as Israeli National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat described the goal.

“I am excited and proud to head the Israeli delegation that is leaving today for talks in Bahrain,” Ben Shabbat said in remarks at Ben Gurion International Airport prior to departure. “We are leaving for the talks in order to translate the peace declaration that was signed on the White House lawn by US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, on behalf of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, into practical plans and concrete agreements.

“Today we will hold discussions in professional teams and working groups on a long series of issues: Finance and investments, trade and economy, tourism, aviation, communications, culture, science, technology, agriculture and others.

“We are excited and together we will pray that G-d might lead us to peace and that we might reach our destination for good life and peace.”

The working groups in Manama are discussing finance and investments, trade and economy, tourism, aviation, communications, culture, science, technology and agriculture, among other issues.

The two delegations were transported to the Bahraini capital aboard Israel’s commercial El Al Flight 973, which flew through Saudi airspace to get there.

The talks are being held under the auspices of US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who is leading the American delegation, which includes Special Representative for International Negotiations, Avi Berkowitz, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

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