a commercial flight links Tel Aviv to Doha for the first time – RT in French

The first direct commercial flight between Israel and Qatar, a country without diplomatic relations, took place on November 20. An event that is part of a special program on the occasion of the Football World Cup.

After the “ping-pong diplomacy”, that of the round ball? During the Football World Cup, Israel and Qatar, two countries that no longer have any diplomatic relations, will exceptionally be connected by several commercial flights.

On November 20, an A320 with 180 passengers on board directly connected Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha. A first in the history of both countries. The Cypriot airline Tus Airways announced on November 18 that it had received the green light from the Qatari authorities to operate six direct flights from Tel Aviv to Doha and six others in the opposite direction during the 2022 World Cup.

“History is written with this first direct flight between Tel Aviv and Doha,” said Lior Haiat, spokesperson for Israeli diplomacy, to AFP. The agreement was announced on November 10 by the International Football Federation (FIFA).

“Thanks to this agreement, Israelis and Palestinians will be able to fly together and enjoy football together,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. In fact, no supporter from the Palestinian territories was on board this first flight, reports Reuters.

Relationships severed in 2009

On November 16, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an online campaign to educate citizens of the Jewish state about the laws and customs in force in Qatar. Among the recommendations is that “to hide any Israeli symbol”, reports the AP agency.

Qatar was the first Gulf state to establish trade relations with Israel in 1996, which also led to an official visit there by the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Shimon Peres. But in 2009, against the backdrop of the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, relations between the Jewish state and the emirate were severed.

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