Photo Credit: Flash 90
View from the control tower at Ben Gurion International Airport

An Etihad Airways cargo plane from Abu Dhabi landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Tuesday night carrying humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the first time in history that a flight between the two countries has openly taken place, and a clear step forward in the UAE’s normalization with Israel.


The plane, which had the company’s insignia stripped from it, was carrying 16 tons of medical supplies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support the COVID-19 response in the PA.

The aid includes personal protective equipment, medical equipment and 10 ventilators.

The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) facilitated the transfer of the aid.

Israel and the UAE do not have formal diplomatic relations.

However, Israel’s ties with several Arab countries have significantly advanced in recent years, openly and covertly, as shared strategic interests, and primarily confronting Iran’s advent in the region, have brought both sides to the same table.

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