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Hebrew media: Israel soldiers will not be allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia, Oman

This picture taken on August 3, 2020 shows the tail end of an Israeli El Al airline Boeing 737-958 aircraft on the tarmac at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, east of Tel Aviv. [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli El Al airline Boeing 737-958 aircraft at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on 3 August 2020 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli soldiers will not be allowed to travel over Saudi Arabia and Oman on route to destinations in the Far East according to a report by the Hebrew language website of Israel Hayoum on Monday.

The report explained that the decision means Israeli soldiers and permanent personnel of the military "will now have great difficulty reaching destinations in the East, including Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, India, parts of China, Seychelles and other destinations in the Far East."

The news website also said that flights from Europe to the Far East travelling over the two countries and Iran will also be off limits to Israeli military personnel.

Last week Israel's national carrier El Al said it expected approval for its flights to use Omani airspace in "a matter of days", in a move that was considered to be a big boost for the flag carrier's Asian routes.

Speaking to reporters after El Al issued second-quarter results, Chief Executive Dina Ben-Tal said the airline had already received approval to fly over Saudi Arabia but also needed to fly over Oman to bypass Iran and save time for journeys to Asia.

Last month, the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said in a statement that the kingdom's airspace was now open to all carriers, including those of Israel, following a trip by US President Joe Biden as part of his Middle East tour which included Israel. Israel's El Al and smaller Israeli rival Arkia later said they had applied for permission to fly over both Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Oman is yet to formally approve Israeli planes flying over its airspace, despite maintaining limited relations with Israel.

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IsraelMiddle EastNewsOmanPalestineSaudi Arabia
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