As the Middle East begins to wake up and see Iran as the real existential threat in the region, and not Israel, history is being made in the process.
Back on August 13th, President Donald J. Trump announced on Twitter that a historic peace agreement had been brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The announcement came with condemnation from Iran.
Despite Iran's pushback, this same deal took an even further step early this morning.
Commercial flight El Al 971, traveling from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, and rightfully dubbed the "Peace Plane," carried ranking officials from the United States and Israel. Among those onboard the flight were US Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner, US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, and Head of Israel's National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat.
The Boeing 737-900 became the first commercial flight to fly directly from Israel to the U.A.E. It also became the first Israeli commercial flight to cross Saudi Arabia's airspace, shaving 4 hours off of the total flight time, thanks to an approval by Riyadh officials to do so.
These firsts are seen not only as historic milestones, but also a step toward advancing peace in the region. Experts in the participating Middle Eastern countries also see this as an economic plus as it could potentially open the door for more direct flights along the same path.
According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, once in Abu Dhabi, those involved will be in “working meetings...on a range of issues ahead of the signing of cooperation agreements in the civil and economic spheres.”
In defiance of Iran's ongoing hostility in the region, many hope that this will be a major first step in arranging peace deals between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
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(Cover photo: REUTERS)