JERUSALEM

The first commercial flight from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrived in Israel on Monday following a normalization deal inked last month between the two countries.

The Etihad Airways plane carrying 58 passengers, including business people, tourism professionals and journalists, landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

The plane, which was welcomed with a ceremony at the airport, left back for Abu Dhabi later in the day.

Israel and the UAE are expected to sign an agreement on Tuesday to operate 28 weekly commercial flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi.

An Etihad Airways plane flew above Israeli skies for the first time last week, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry.

The two countries are expected to launch a direct commercial aviation line at the beginning of 2021, according to Israeli media.

The first Emirati ship loaded with goods, including iron, firefighting, cleaning and electronic equipment, arrived at Israel’s Haifa Port on Oct. 12.

Bahrain, UAE and Israel agreed to establish full diplomatic, cultural, and commercial relations following the signing of controversial normalization agreements on Sept. 15 at the White House.

The moves have been followed by a series of announcements on agreements and contracts between firms from all three nations.

The normalization deals have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who say the deals ignore their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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