UAE’s First Astronaut Gifts Israel With Israeli Flag He Brought to Space
The first Emirati astronaut to travel to space presented Israeli officials on Thursday with an Israeli flag that he brought along on his space mission two years ago.
The Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry Alon Ushpiz said on Twitter that Hazzaa al-Mansoori, who traveled to the International Space Station in 2019, gifted the framed flag to Israel during his visit this week to the Jewish state’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.
This morning we hosted a very dear & special guest at the Israel pavilion at @ExpoDubai2021, the first Emirati astronaut. @astro_hazzaa gifted us with an Israeli flag he took with him on his first mission to the International Space Station. Thank you (& may the force be with you) pic.twitter.com/DGdgXzJmSG
— Alon Ushpiz (@AlonUshpiz) December 23, 2021
Al-Mansouri is the youngest F-16 pilot in the United Arab Emirates Air Force and spent eight days in space during his 2019 mission, according to Ynet. He said at the pavilion, “I am happy to be here and present this Israeli flag to the people here and the Israeli public … This is my gift to all Israelis.”
Josh Bendit, head of the Israeli pavilion at Expo 2020, said, “The flag was delivered to us with a dedication. Al-Mansouri came wearing his astronaut uniform and seemed excited. His visit shows how important he finds the UAE-Israeli relations.”