Israel is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to establish a direct flight to Mecca, saying it wants to send 'special Hajj pilgrimage flights' to Mecca, amid efforts between the two sides to build alliance against Iran.
Israel is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to establish a direct flight to Mecca, saying it wants to send 'special Hajj pilgrimage flights' to Mecca.
The call comes amid Israeli efforts to build on Trump administration efforts to strengthen cooperation with Saudi, according to Bloomberg.
Israel says it wants its Muslim population to go directly to Saudi for pilgrimage instead of enduring the 1,000-mile bus route across the Jordan River and through the Saudi desert.
Israel now will seek to send pilgrims directly into the kingdom from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, Communications Minister Ayoob Kara said.
Just two months ago, Trump broke a longstanding taboo by flying between the two sides, which do not have formal diplomatic relations or airline links but have drawn closer in recent years due to a shared enemy, Iran.
“Reality has changed,” Kara said in an interview this week at his office in the occupied al-Quds ('Jerusalem').
“This is a good time to make the request, and I’m working hard on it.”