Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to bring about direct flights from Israel to Saudi Arabia if reelected on March 23.
“I’m going to bring you direct flights from Tel Aviv to Mecca,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 13.
Saudi Arabia is among several Arab- and Muslim-majority nations thought to be mulling the normalization of ties with Israel after the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan made the move last year.
Normalized ties with Saudi Arabia have yet to materialize. But should Prime Minister Benjamin @Netanyahu win Israel's election, direct flights to Saudi Arabia will happen.
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) March 21, 2021
Riyadh granted Israel permission to fly over its airspace for the first time last year, but further steps towards normalisation have not yet publicly materialized.
Saudi officials reportedly stopped communicating with their Israeli counterparts after a secret meeting between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Netanyahu was made public.
In the televised interview on Saturday, Netanyahu claimed four more normalisation agreements would be forthcoming.
Oman, Mauritania, and Indonesia have also been rumored to be considering establishing ties with Israel.
“I will bring you direct flights from Tel Aviv to Mecca."
Netanyahu said in an interview on Hebrew Channel 13 that he will facilitate direct flights from "Israel" to Mecca in Saudi Arabia if he wins the elections, pointing out that relations with Saudi Arabia are “normal”. pic.twitter.com/rYnWhYCpvq
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) March 21, 2021
Jared Kushner, who helped broker last year’s normalisation agreements under the Trump administration, has claimed that Saudi Arabia will “inevitability” make the move.
Normalization with Israel faces fierce opposition in most Arabic-speaking and Muslim-majority nations, which have historically refrained from diplomatic and economic ties with Israel out of solidarity with the Palestinians.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)