Saudi private plane lands in Tel Aviv: report

Saudi private plane lands in Tel Aviv: report
2 min read
20 November, 2021
A private Saudi plane has landed in Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport after taking off from Riyadh and stopping in Amman, an Israeli military correspondent has said.
The Saudi plane reportedly landed in Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv [Getty]

A private plane from Saudi Arabia has landed in Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, a correspondent for a state-run Israeli news channel said late on Thursday.

Itay Blumental, the military correspondent of Kan News said on Twitter that the plane arrived in Israel from Riyadh, making what he called a "diplomatic" stop in Amman.

"I cannot explain, something is happening on the line," he said, also tweeting images of the plane's reported flight path.

Last month, Kan reported that an Israeli private jet landed in Saudi Arabia one day after a Saudi jet landed in Israel.

In 2020, Bahrain, the UAE, and Morocco normalised relations with Israel, signing controversial deals known as the "Abraham Accords".

The agreements were condemned by Palestinians, who said that they rewarded Israel while it continued to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip. An opinion survey also found that the overwhelming majority of the Arab public disapproved of the deals.

Saudi Arabia has so far not signed its own normalisation agreement with Israel. However, earlier this month a delegation of 20 US Jewish leaders visited Riyadh and met with senior Saudi officials. Among them was Jewish-American businessman Phil Rosen, who is close to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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"The Saudis are preparing their citizens for normalisation with Israel. They see Israel as a regional power and admire its ability defend itself," the Israeli news website YNet quoted Rosen as saying.

"I would not be surprised if we see normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel in the coming months or year," he said.

Saudi Arabia's official position is that it will not sign any normalisation deal with Israel until progress is made in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, but Rosen said that he did not believe that the Saudis would wait for this to happen before signing a deal.