Expo Attendance Nixed After Virus Shuts Down Israel’s Airport
Israel on Monday announced it would not be sending representatives to the International Defense Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, citing its coronavirus-induced total travel ban imposed last month. Dozens of Israeli defense companies were slated to participate in the prestigious expo, the first time firms from Israel would have taken part in the event after the two countries established formal relations in September. Yet Jerusalem’s special exemptions committee, tasked with allowing select citizens to depart or land in Israel, refused to authorize the firms’ participation in the event. The complete closure of Israel’s international airport in January, due to the rising number of virus cases and deaths, has left thousands of Israelis stranded abroad and has kept thousands of people caged in Israel with no options for escape. On Sunday, the government announced it would relax the travel ban somewhat next week, approving several limited flights to and from the US and Europe.