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UAE cancels participation in Israel’s Independence Day flyby

April 20, 2022 at 2:48 pm

A passenger aircraft, operated by Wizz Air Holdings Plc, on the tarmac on 9 September, 2021 [Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

The United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi yesterday cancelled their participation in an Israeli air show to mark the occupation state’s 74th Independence Day.

Israel Today reported that the Israeli Airline Pilots’ Association (ISRALPA) had received two letters from the Emirati companies, cancelling their participation in the event.

On Sunday, the ISRALPA announced that planes from the two Emirati companies would participate alongside Israeli planes in the air show travelling from Acre in the north to Ashdod in the south on 5 May.

Their decision not to take part is said to be a result of the recent Israeli aggression against Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque where more than 150 were injured.

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On Tuesday, the UAE summoned the Israeli Ambassador to Abu Dhabi, Amir Hayek, in protest at the Israeli occupation forces’ attacks and incursions on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Emirati  Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy, called on the Israeli authorities to “immediately cease these practices, provide full protection for worshippers, respect Palestinians to practice their religious rites, and stop violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The UAE signed a normalisation agreement with Israel in September 2020 and has since agreed numerous cooperation and security deals.