In a move already derided and scorned by social media users throughout the Middle East, the UAE's ruler optimistically revoked boycotts against Israel ahead of negotiations prior to signing the normalisation deal.
The ruler of the United Arab Emirates has issued a decree formally ending the country's boycott of Israel amid a US-brokered deal to normalise relations between the two countries.
The state-run WAM news agency said on Saturday that the decree was made by UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on the orders of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and the Emirates' leader.
The decree cancels a law boycotting Israel, and goes on to allow trade and financial agreements between the two countries. It also allows Israelis and Israeli business to do trade in any of the seven federated Emirates of the UAE.
“The decree of the new law comes within the UAE’s efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel,” WAM said.
Flights, weapons and deals
The announcement comes as El Al Airlines plans to operate Israel's first direct flight between Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport and the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi, carrying an Israeli delegation and top aides to US President Donald Trump, who brokered the August 13 deal to normalise Israeli-UAE ties.
Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner will be among the US officials on the El Al flight departing on August 31 at 0700GMT, a US official said.
The Israel-UAE deal awaits negotiations on details such as opening embassies, trade and travel links before it is officially signed.
US Secretary of State and former CIA director Mike Pompeo and Jared Kushner plan to tour the Middle East trying to drum up more normalisation deals from Arab states.
There are no official air links between Israel and the UAE, it remains unclear whether El Al would be able to fly over Saudi Arabia, which has no official ties with Israel, to cut down on flight time.
In May, an Etihad Airways plane flew from the UAE to Tel Aviv to deliver supplies to the Palestinians to use for the novel coronavirus epidemic, marking the first known flight by a UAE carrier to Israel.