First direct Israel-Morocco flight lands in Rabat
The first flight from Israel landed in Morocco on December 22, 2020.
El Al Israel Airlines flight LY555 took off from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport and landed in Rabat-Sale airport at 2:40pm, according to flightradar24.com data. The flight to Rabat carried on board the US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner and Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat.
“My hope is that this flight today to Morocco will create the same amount of momentum between Morocco and Israel,” said Kushner before boarding the plane.
Both countries anticipate a surge of tourists traveling the new route, especially the Israelis of Moroccan descent. Morocco holds the largest Jewish community in Northern Africa. To this day, about 3,000 Jews live in Morocco, while Israel is home to 700,000 Jews of Moroccan origin.
Morocco became the third Arab state, after the UAE and Bahrain, to normalize relations with Israel in 2020. Israel and Morocco now plan to reopen mutual “liaison offices” that in the future could be upgraded to embassies. Morocco closed its liaison office in Tel Aviv after the Palestinian uprising in 2000. Palestinians have condemned the deals that Arab countries are making with Israel.
On December 4, 2020, Gulf Air, the national airline of Bahrain, and El Al Airlines, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which would allow both parties to launch direct Bahrain – Tel Aviv flights. The operations are expected to begin from January 7, 2021.
On November 26, 2020, Flydubai operated the first direct flight Dubai-Tel Aviv, after the United Arab Emirates and Israel have signed an agreement to normalize relationships.
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