Israel Congratulates UAE on Prospective Mars Mission
In yet another sign of warming ties, Israel has congratulated the United Arab Emirates on the latter’s effort to send an unmanned probe to Mars next month. “We wish the UAE the best of luck on the launch of this scientific mission, and hope this step will contribute toward deeper cooperation between all countries in the region,” the Foreign Ministry posted to its Arabic-language “Israel in the Gulf” Twitter account. The project, named Hope, has been billed by the UAE as “the first interplanetary exploration undertaken” by an Arab state. Last month, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways made its first-ever publicly announced flight to Israel in order to deliver coronavirus-related medical aid to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. On Tuesday, a second Emirates flight with such supplies landed at Ben-Gurion Airport, but unlike the first time, the aircraft was not uniformly painted white, instead exhibiting the Etihad logo and the UAE flag. Israel has over the past few years developed unofficial ties with Gulf states predicated mainly on a shared interest in curbing Iran’s regional adventurism and potential nuclearization.