Bahrain to Open Airspace to Israel at UAE’s Request

Bahrain yesterday announced it will allow Israeli planes to use its airspace to and from the UAE, following Saudi Arabia’s decision on Wednesday to allow similar flights.

Both moves were reportedly at the request of the UAE, which has already received the first direct flight from Tel Aviv since the two countries normalized relations.

US presidential adviser, Jared Kushner, was on the commercial flight as he toured the region to push other Arab states to normalize ties with Israel.

Although Israel was not named explicitly, Bahrain’s Transport Ministry stated it would allow all flights to the UAE across its airspace. It is understood that in allowing Israel to use its airspace, flights between Tel Aviv and the Emirates will cut the flying time by several hours.

Bahrain, which earlier this year said that Israel has a right to defend itself, along with Saudi Arabia, does not presently have diplomatic ties with Israel and has recently declared its opposition to normalization without Palestinian statehood.

Due to shared concerns over Iran’s influence in the region, Gulf States are increasingly normalizing relations with Israel, cooperating against a perceived threat from Teheran.

On August 13, Israel and the UAE have reached a deal that is expected to lead to “full normalization of relations” between the Arab nation and Israel in an agreement that US President Donald Trump reportedly helped broker.

The agreement is considered a severe blow to Palestinian efforts aimed at isolating Israel regionally and internationally until it ends its military occupation and apartheid-like system in occupied Palestine.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

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