United Arab Emirates airlines Etihad and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi announced on Tuesday that they will not be participating in a flyover of civilian aircraft as part of Israel’s Independence Day celebrations on May 4 as planned.

Organized by the Israeli Airline Pilots Association (ISRALPA), the flyover is to feature planes from all of Israel’s airlines: national carrier El Al, Israir, Arkia, Kal and Ayit. This year, the Emirati carriers had also been scheduled to participate.

Capt. Maydan Bar, chairman of ISRALPA, said: “First and foremost, this is a pilots’ flyover, which proves that regional cooperation is achievable, and not only as announcements. I welcome with all my heart the pilots from the Gulf states who are taking part in our peace flyover and hope for continued, even increased, cooperation.”

The announcement that the Emirati companies would not be participating came out at approximately the same time as the announcement that the UAE had summoned Israel’s ambassador in Abu Dhabi for a discussion about events on the Temple Mount.

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