Landing of the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha in Qatar | Sports | Reports and analysis of the most important sporting events from DW Arabia | DW

Landing of the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha in Qatar |  Sports |  Reports and analysis of the most important sporting events from DW Arabia |  DW
Landing of the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha in Qatar |  Sports |  Reports and analysis of the most important sporting events from DW Arabia |  DW

Landing of the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha in Qatar | Sports | Reports and analysis of the most important sporting events from DW Arabia | DW

Balloons in the colors of the Israeli and Qatari flags decorated the departure gate today, Sunday (20 November 2022) for the first commercial flight between the two countries, which Doha allowed in the interests of FIFA World Cup fans despite the lack of official bilateral relations .

andA few hours before the official start of the tournamentFlightradar 24 showed that the flight landed in Qatar today.

What was particularly exciting for the travelers was that they were able to attend the football tournaments for which Israel had not qualified with such surprising ease. But many also expressed hope that the temporary direct flights would pave the way for full detente between the Gulf state and Israel.

A secret Israeli consular delegation, dispatched in advance to provide emergency assistance, was issued with ID cards, a reminder of their current semi-recognized status in Qatar, which is close to Iran and home to leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Qatar is the first Gulf state to establish trade relations with Israel in 1996. However, in 2000 the Israel Trade Office in Doha was closed and relations between the two countries were severed in 2009 due to the Israeli war in Gaza.

Ten thousand Israelis

“There were some concerns, I can’t deny that,” said Saji Ashkvitz, who traveled with three friends to the FIFA World Cup finals for him for the second time. “But in the end, the idea of ​​seeing (Argentine forward Lionel) Messi for the last time, together with the idea that we’re already making history, overcame all fears and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

At least one is expected to be present Ten thousand Israelis Games that last a month usually come through a third country. Those who boarded the Cyprus Airways TUS Airways plane at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport were told from the start that they would be making a short stopover in Cyprus. But their flight became a three-hour direct flight instead, thanks to an agreement announced last week by football’s governing body FIFA allowing Palestinians and Israelis to fly direct.

While the passengers on Sunday’s flight were Israeli Arabs and Jews, there were no passengers from the Palestinian territories among them. Gabriel Mizrahi, CEO of ticketing agent Tic Tec, said it was because the flight was booked in May, when the company’s Palestinian customers preferred indirect flights via neighboring Jordan. Mizrahi said six more flights from Tel Aviv to Doha have been approved so far to attend the FIFA World Cup finals. He said return tickets could not be purchased separately to ensure returnees were the same passengers who received clearances from Ben Gurion security.

At least two fans said they would attend Iran national team matchesenemy of Israel. “I will be sitting on the Iranian side of the stadium. God is with me,” said Shlomi Lakash, who wore a baseball cap, and joked about his “Islamic green” color, which could help him integrate.

Riad Ziadna, an Israeli Arab, said while holding a soccer ball and queuing to check in that he believed the World Cup would be “the starting point for coexistence throughout the Middle East.”

Kh.S/HZ (AFP)




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