First ever known commercial flight to Israel from UAE flies coronavirus aid for Palestinians

An Etihad Airways flights loaded with aid for the Palestinians to fight the coronavirus pandemic is loaded in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Image Source: WAM via AP

The world is coming together like never before to battle it out against a common enemy – the coronavirus.

In a landmark event in the relations between the two Middle Eastern nations with no diplomatic relationships, a commercial airline from the United Arab Emirates flew its first publicly acknowledged direct flight on 19th May 2020 to Israel with medical aid for the Palestinians to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The flight 9607 was run by the state-owned Etihad Airways, taking off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and landing at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv with around 14 tons of medical aid for the people of Palestine.

The medical equipment included 10 ventilators, personal protective equipment, and other medical equipment.

“Etihad Airways operated a dedicated humanitarian cargo flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv on 19 May to provide medical supplies to the Palestinians,” the airline told The Associated Press news agency. “The flight had no passengers on board.”

“This is an international crisis that requires an international response. The UAE is grateful to UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) for facilitating the UAE’s support for the Palestinian people, and for the UN’s tireless efforts to coordinate and assist the global fight against the pandemic,” Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the Emirati envoy to the UN, was quoted saying in a UNSCO statement.

Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, thanked the government and people of the UAE for their continued support to the Palestinian people.

“The UAE is an important partner, whose continued support for peace and for the Palestinian people at this critical time is highly valued. Global solidarity is in the interest of everyone. Today we are facing the most challenging crisis since the Second World War. We can get through it only by working together,” he said.

This is an unprecedented event in the history of Israel and the United Arab Emirates relationships. However, unprecedented situations do require such collaborative efforts. Do you agree?

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