Netanyahu and Wife to Fly Separately From Israeli Delegation for UAE Signing Ceremony

The Prime Minister's Office says strict coronavirus restrictions obligate premier to fly separately from Israeli delegation ■ PM's sons, Yair and Avner, may join parents

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara boarding a plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara boarding a plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport, 2018. Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara are expected to fly to next week's signing ceremony with the United Arab Emirates on a private plane, while the rest of the Israeli delegation will use a leased Israir plane, Channel 13 reported on Thursday.

On September 15, U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a signing ceremony for the diplomatic agreement normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE.

Netanyahu and UAE's Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will lead the official delegations to the ceremony.

"I am proud to go to Washington next week, at the invitation of President Trump, and to attend the historic White House ceremony to establish the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates," Netanyahu said on Tuesday. 

Netanyahu's sons, Yair and Avner, may also join the premier and his wife on the private plane.

The report was confirmed by the Prime Minister's Office, but the decision is yet to be finalized.  

According to the PMO, Netanyahu and his wife must fly in a private plane due to strict coronavirus restrictions.

However, a historic El Al flight departed from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi last week, carrying an Israeli delegation as well as senior American officials, including senior White house adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brian.

Furthermore, Netanyahu was set to receive a VIP-configured Boeing 767 to fly him around the world. Fearing criticism amid an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the plane has now been grounded and is awaiting its last test flight.

The new plane made its first test flight in November 2019, sporting a new blue-and-white livery.

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