An Israeli medical team and equipment were sent to enemy state Sudan earlier this week in an attempt to save the life of a key diplomat infected with COVID-19 but were ultimately unsuccessful.
According to Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 13, diplomat Najwa Gadaheldam, a former industrial development officer at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and a close advisor to Sudan's leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, was instrumental in fostering relations between Jerusalem and Khartoum, who have been adversaries for decades.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and al-Burhan met last February in Uganda in what was seen as a thawing of relations though the two countries are still officially at war.
The story would likely have remained unknown to the general public if the aircraft used for this operation had not been reported on flight tracking sites. It was the first time a direct flight between the two countries had been reported.
The plane landed in Khartoum on Tuesday with senior diplomatic officials, medical personnel and equipment, after learning of Gadaheldam's condition, according to Channel 13.
The team planned to transport her to Israel for treatment but arrived too late when she was already in critical condition.
Less than 24 hours after their arrival, Gadaheldam died from complications stemming from the coronavirus.
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told ministers on Sunday at a cabinet meeting that he had spoken on the phone with Sudanese leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and expressed his condolences before Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Last February in Uganda, Netanyahu discussed normalizing relations with Sudan, a predominantly Arab and Muslim country, while on a whirlwind tour of Africa to boost diplomatic relations with countries across the continent.