The Etihad Airways flight 9607 landed at 21 h 14, Tuesday, at the airport Ben-Gurion in Tel-Aviv. Seemingly innocent, if not he be in full pandemic and that the aircraft all over the world are nailed to the ground, the information, referred to by the site FlightAware, is in historical reality, the united arab Emirates (uae) and Israel, not having any official diplomatic relationship. "For the first time, a cargo plane Etihad has just landed at the airport Ben-Gurion !" welcomed on Twitter Danny Danon, the israeli ambassador to the united Nations, whose ministry coordinated the arrival of the flight émirien in the jewish State. "Soon, I hope, we will also see flights with passengers. Me being [already] made on the spot, I know that the united arab Emirates is a fascinating place, and I'm looking to continue the improvement of relations between our two countries. "
#BREAKING: For the first time, year @etihad cargo plane lands in Israel after a direct flight from Abu Dhabi with humanitarian aid to the Palestinians pic.twitter.com/WhQ5M7UdlX— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) May 19, 2020
For the occasion, the aircraft was repainted in white, devoid of any logo indicating the airline's emirati. Chartered by the united Nations, through its world food programme, the unit contained 16 tons of emergency medical aid emirati, 10 respirators, for use in the fight against the pandemic of sars coronavirus in the palestinian Territories. It is only this aspect of the flight as wished to point out Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, permanent representative of the uae to the UN, contrary to its counterpart in israel.
"This is an international crisis that requires an international response," said the ambassador to uae at the united Nations in a terse statement. "The united arab Emirates thanked the Office of the special coordinator of the united Nations for the peace process in the Middle East to have easier support of the uae to the palestinian people, and for the tireless efforts of the UN to coordinate and help the fight global against this pandemic. "The palestinian Territories have been relatively spared by the Covid-19 (570 known cases, 4 deaths), mainly due to a rapid containment as well as increased cooperation in the west bank, between the palestinian Authority and the israeli government. In Gaza, Hamas has also taken drastic measures, while the enclave is already subjected to a double blockade of the israeli-egyptian.
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using emirati is part of the growing support of Abu Dhabi to the palestinian Territories, at a time when the United States reduce their. In addition to being one of the largest donors to the relief and works united Nations for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the united arab Emirates have provided more 828,2 millions of dollars in aid over the period from 2013 to April 2020, according to UN figures. "The sending of this plane is not political, it is just to provide help where the need is most felt," stresses a diplomatic source. "The global response to the virus is too important to be undermined by political considerations. "
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In November, the ex-minister, israeli Culture and Sports, Miri Regev, who had accompanied him to Abu Dhabi the national team of judo, which participated for the first time at the grand slam of Abu Dhabi in the colours israeli. At the end of January, the ambassador of the united arab Emirates to the United States, Youssef Al-Otaibi, was present at the White House to attend the presentation of the "peace plan" by Donald Trump on the middle East, making it great for applications to the israeli. Finally, the universal Exhibition, scheduled this year in Dubai, but the threat of a postponement due to the pandemic, needed to accommodate a israeli pavilion.
The shadow of the annexation
United by a common fear of Iran, Abu Dhabi, Tel-Aviv, but also Riyadh are now become the objective allies against the islamic Republic. If they do not have formal diplomatic relations, the three countries cooperate, including on intelligence in the face of "interference" by Tehran in the Middle East. But, in overhang with respect to their own public opinion, still sensitive to the plight of the Palestinians, the countries of the Gulf are clamoring for first a resolution of the intractable israeli-palestinian conflict prior to any normalization with the jewish State. "The Uae need to progress forward to these exchanges with the Israelis are gradually becoming normal," says a knowledgeable observer of this approximation. "If they have simultaneously increased their aid to the Palestinians, they know very well that Palestine is no longer the priority of arab world and they are not going to go beyond that. "
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But an unexpected event until there are yet four months, could undermine this warming diplomatic : the annexation by the new israeli government of Benyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz for a part of the west bank, although illegal under international law. Promised by Benjamin Netanyahu in his electorate, in the case of re-election, this unilateral action expected from the 1st July next, and against which his political partner may not oppose, would put the Uae, like all Gulf countries, in a position more than difficult. "This does not help," says the diplomatic source.
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