First passenger flight from Bahrain touches down at Israeli airport


DUBAI – The first commercial flight between Bahrain and Israel landed at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on Thursday, a year after the two nations normalized their ties under US-brokered deal.

Gulf Air flight GF972 touched down at the airport shortly after Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid began his historic visit to Manama, where he will inaugurate the Israeli embassy, international media reported.

Crew members waved the flags of Bahrain and Israel from the cockpit windows of the passenger jet as it made landing.

The flight marked the launch of two regular weekly lights on Tel Aviv-Manama route.

Bahrain and Gulf neighbour United Arab Emirates normalised relations with Israel last year in a US-brokered deal known as the Abraham Accords that built on shared business interests and worries about Iran. Sudan and Morocco followed suit.

The accords had been denounced by the Palestinians as abandoning a unified position under which Arab states would make peace only if Israel gave up occupied land.

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