Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister, Esawi Frej, said on Thursday that he asked Saudi Arabia to allow direct flights from Israel for Muslim pilgrims.

It comes as U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East is scheduled for next week.

Israeli officials are also requesting expanded over-fly permission for their airlines on routes to Asia, wrote Reuters.

“We are in talks on getting general [Saudi] over-flight rights for destinations other than Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Manama. This will save significant time for reaching Asian destinations, for example,” an Israeli official told Reuters.

Frej, an Israeli Arab, said to Army Radio:I want to see the day when I can depart from Ben-Gurion [airport near Tel Aviv] to Jeddah to fulfill my religious obligation” of pilgrimage to Mecca.

Until now, Muslim pilgrims from Israel have to travel through third countries, such as Jordan.


Jewish News Syndicate

With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.

Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.

If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.

We appreciate your support.