Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz flew through Saudi Arabia’s airspace while making an official visit to the United Arab Emirates last week, Israeli media reported.
Katz attended an international climate summit in Abu Dhabi last week and posed for a photo at the city’s grand mosque.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz visited Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where he presented a regional economic plan linking Israel with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.https://t.co/vprjnfocwc
— World Israel News (@worldisraelnews) July 3, 2019
According to local media, Katz said:
“I am excited to stand here in Abu Dhabi and to represent the interests of the State of Israel before the Arab Gulf states.”
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Katz flew on a private aircraft through Saudi airspace with the kingdom’s permission.
Saudi Arabia opened its airspace to commercial flights to and from Israel for the first time in March 2018, with the inauguration of an Air India route between New Delhi and Tel Aviv.
"I am excited to stand here in Abu Dhabi and to represent the interests of the State of Israel before the Arab Gulf states[.]” https://t.co/dT7iqVEsHR
— Denijal Jegić | دانيال ياغِتش (@denijeg) July 3, 2019
Yedioth Ahronoth reported that in October last year Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Mossad intelligence chief Yossi Cohen also passed through Saudi airspace en route to Oman.
Visits by senior Israeli officials to Gulf states are rare but growing in frequency.
— Islamic Voice (@islamicvoicemy) July 2, 2019
Israel’s minister of sport and culture made the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the UAE last year.
Katz’ visit to the UAE came shortly after the US-organised economic conference in Bahrain in late June, where the White House revealed plans for $50 billion in investment over 10 years in the occupied Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab states
The conference was boycotted by the Palestinians, who view US President Donald Trump as blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 1, 2019
Israel has diplomatic relations with only two Arab countries – Egypt and Jordan – but common concerns over Iran have brought it closer to Gulf nations in recent years.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)