Bahrain to allow flights between Israel and the Emirates over its territory

After Saudi Arabia, flights connecting the United Arab Emirates to Israel will be able to fly over Bahrain. The announcement on Thursday follows the agreement to normalize relations between the Emirates and Israel, which was announced in August.

Bahrain announced on Thursday (September 3) that it would allow the United Arab Emirates to fly over its territory to and from Israel, three days after the first direct flight between the two countries and the day after a similar decision by Saudi Arabia.

“Bahrain will allow all flights to or from the United Arab Emirates over its territory,” the official Bahrain News Agency reported, quoting a Ministry of Transport official.

This decision comes after the agreement to normalize relations between the Emirates and Israel was announced in mid-August by US President Donald Trump with a promise of trade.

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Cargo flight from September

This week, a “first direct commercial flight” landed between the two countries and from Tel Aviv in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, after also flooding the airspace in Saudi Arabia, the country from the Gulf, which does not maintain official relations with Israel.

The Israeli transport company El Al announced on Thursday a cargo flight from September to the Emirates. A Boeing 747 is scheduled to take off on September 16 from Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and take a detour via Liège, Belgium before heading to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations with Israel. Riyadh conditions the establishment of relations with Israel due to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. For its part, Bahrain was the first golf country to welcome the agreement between the Emirates and Israel.

Shared hostility to Iran

The contacts in this small Gulf country and Israel go back to the 1990s. Bahrain and Israel share the same hostility towards Iran. Manama accuses Islamic Republic of instrumentalizing Bahrain’s Shiite community against the ruling Sunni dynasty.

For his part, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, said on Thursday night that no one could speak for the “Palestinian people” during an unprecedented meeting between Palestinian factions, including Hamas. “We can not accept that we are speaking on our behalf, we have never allowed it and will never allow it,” he said.

The Palestinians accuse Abu Dhabi of treason and of violating the Arab consensus that made the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a precondition for the normalization of relations with the Jewish state.

With AFP