Skip to main content

Palestinians say they were not informed of second virus aid flight from UAE to Israel

The second-ever direct flight from the United Arab Emirates to Israel took place today, but Palestinians say they were not informed of the aid delivery.

The United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways sent another flight to Israel to give aid to the Palestinians today, but Palestinian authorities again said they were not informed of the delivery.

Etihad Airways flew a cargo flight carrying humanitarian aid for the Palestinian Territories from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv today, a spokesperson for the airline told Al-Monitor. The flight was only the second direct one in history between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, who do not have formal relations.

The first such flight took place in May and also carried COVID-19 aid for Palestinians. However, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials rejected the assistance, saying the delivery was not done in coordination with them. The PA's relations with Israel are at a low due to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

Palestinian authorities say they also were not consulted on the second aid flight. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said today that he was not informed of the flight from the Emirates, making it possible the PA will again reject the aid, Reuters reported.

The Israeli public TV channel Kan 11 also reported the flight’s arrival, saying it was coordinated with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Israeli military officials in the West Bank. The first flight came on an unmarked plane, but today's flight came on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with the airline's logo. The Israeli Foreign Ministry distributed photos of the plane.

The Emirates does not have formal relations with Israel, like most Arab states. Relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates along with UAE ally Saudi Arabia have improved in recent years, however, over their shared concerns about Iran.

UAE officials have criticized Israel’s plans to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank, with the Emirates’ ambassador to Washington telling Al-Monitor that the move would destabilize the region.

Etihad Airways has made other humanitarian aid flights during the pandemic. The airline completed its first-ever flight to Cuba for such a mission last week.

Etihad Airways has suffered from decreased revenue along with other regional airlines due to the massive downturn in global travel.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial