Thursday, January 20th | 19 Shevat 5782

August 31, 2020 1:54 pm

Netanyahu Hails ‘Historic Day,’ as First Israeli Commercial Flight to UAE Touches Down

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An El Al plane is seen on the ground in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 31, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias / Pool.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the media on Monday after the first commercial Israeli flight landed in the United Arab Emirates, calling it a “historic day.”

The El Al flight, the first of its kind to the Gulf state, touched down in Abu Dhabi on Monday, carrying a delegation of senior US and Israeli officials, including President Donald Trump’s son‐in‐law Jared Kushner, who brokered the recently‐announced Israel-UAE peace agreement.

“This is a historic day, a happy day for all Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu told the press. “A day of victory for the doctrine of peace for peace.”

“I have instructed the head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat, to invite an Emirati delegation to Israel,” he announced.

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“We will receive the Emirati delegation with a red carpet, as they received us,” Netanyahu added.

The prime minister also hinted at further peace agreements to come, saying, “There are things I cannot tell you, but I believe they will come to light over time. You have been able to see the changes, some of them, on the tip of the iceberg, over the last few years.”

Netanyahu added that he had held a conference call with Trump and the UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and an official signing of the normalization deal in Washington, DC, was being planned.

The prime minister said the Israel-UAE accord would bring a “warm peace” based on “economic cooperation with an entrepreneurial economy similar to ours.”

“For the first time, Israel, which has received investments from all over the world, is also going to receive investments from the Middle East,” he noted. “This is a huge change. It is a peace that creates jobs, encourages entrepreneurship and expands our economy.”

Earlier, Netanyahu spoke with the captain of the Israel-UAE flight, Tal Becker, saying, “You are now about to open the door to a different kind of peace ‐‐ peace with investments, peace with tourism, peace with very many fruits of peace that will be shared here with our two peoples and with all the peoples of the region.”

“This is a gigantic and historic blessing,” he declared.

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