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An Israeli flight makes an unexpected stop in Saudi Arabia

A flight to Tel Aviv from the Seychelles had to make an unscheduled landing in Saudi Arabia due to an electrical problem. The 128 passengers on board were put up in a hotel at Jeddah Airport before being flown to their destination on a replacement plane. The event was hailed by Israel as a show of goodwill, given that Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations.

The informal but strong relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel has been influenced by mutual concerns about Iran’s regional ambitions. Since the 2020 normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab states brokered by the Trump administration, there has been heightened anticipation of a similar agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his gratitude for the warm treatment of Israeli passengers in Saudi Arabia. In a video message with subtitles in both Hebrew and Arabic, he praised the good neighborliness of the Saudis, sparking speculation about a possible future deal between the two nations.

Passengers on board the flight also relayed positive experiences during their stay in Jeddah, reporting warm greetings in Hebrew from some Saudis. Saudi Arabia has yet to make any public comment on the incident.

A normalization deal with Saudi Arabia, a prominent Arab state, could redefine geopolitical alignments in the Middle East. However, this arrangement remains complicated. Saudi Arabia has made any formal recognition of Israel conditional on a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and appears to be seeking security guarantees and access to US nuclear technology.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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