A United Arab Emirates Etihad Airways aircraft landed in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion international Airport last night, transporting medical supplies earmarked to help the Palestinians combat the coronavirus.
According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which coordinated the plane’s arrival with the Arabian Gulf Emirate (which does not have official diplomatic relations with the Jewish State), the aid was subsequently transferred to Gaza and the West Bank by assistance of the United Nations and a unit of Israel’s Defense Ministry.
In response to this flight, the Palestinian leadership voiced frustration over the fact that Abu Dhabi did not coordinate the shipment with Ramallah.
And while a previous humanitarian shipment from the UAE was blatantly rejected by the Palestinian Authority over the lack of coordination and a sign of the Arab world’s increased rapprochement with Israel; it is not clear whether the Palestinians would officially accept or reject the aid.
In response, a senior Abu Dhabi official stressed that the UAE would not be deterred by Palestinian anger, and said that the fight against the coronavirus had to take precedence over ideological differences of opinion. The official further admitted that the decision to have an aircraft from the United Arab Emirates land in Ben Gurion Airport with its official logo emblazoned was a clear message (to the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world).