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COVID-19 offers new opportunities for Israel-Arab relations

In secret diplomatic ties or in open posts on social media, Israel reaches out to Arab neighbors battling with the coronavirus.

In the multitude of headlines over anti-coronavirus masks being purchased by Israel across the globe, news about Israel donating 5,000 medical masks to Jordan drew little attention. Perhaps it was because the foreign and defense ministries kept it low-profile, informing simply that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will oversee the delivery of the medical gear. Still, discretion does not mean inaction.

Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, Amir Weissbrod, facilitated on March 26 the passage of some 200 Israeli Arab university students studying in Amman back to the country, after the Hashemite Kingdom closed movement across its borders. The latest news signals that even while engaged in a world battle over medical equipment — the last shipment of coronavirus test kits landed in Israel April 15 from South Korea — Israel does not forget its neighbor to the east.

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