Palestinians may fly direct from Israel to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage

(JNS.org) The United States, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have agreed in secret negotiations to coordinate the first flight of Palestinian pilgrims to Saudia Arabia from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

Inside Israel's Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Negotiations are underway to start flights for Palestinians to travel from Israel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during Ramadan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The new route, which would enable Palestinian pilgrims to travel directly to the holiest Islamic sites in Mecca and Medina during Ramadan, was pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump after his visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel in May, according to reports.

The flight would have a brief layover in Jordan before arriving in Riyadh. It would be the first-ever connecting flight between the countries, following Trump’s direct flight in May from Riyadh to Tel Aviv aboard Air Force One.

A senior Israeli source said negotiations to open the route are in advanced stages, and the flights would be run by a foreign company, not an Israeli or Saudi airline.

 

Posted on June 19, 2017 .