A commercial flight from the UAE landed for the first time, at Ben Gurion International Airport on Monday.
The Etihad 787-10 Dreamliner arrived with 58 passengers on board and was greeted in a festive ceremony.
"We are very excited to be here," the flight's captain Saleh Abdullah said. "Hopefully this is the beginning of a good relationship between UAE and Israel and if someone asked me a few months ago if I would be here making a speech in Tel Aviv, I would have said this is impossible," he said.
"Because we have brave men who believe in peace and we have Mohammed bin Zayed and Benjamin Netanyahu, because of them, they work together and we have peace," Captain Abdullah said adding he hoped the region would all live, in peace and harmony.
On Tuesday, Israel and the United Arab Emirates will a sign a deal to allow 28 weekly commercial flights between Ben Gurion airport, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Transportation Ministry said on Sunday.
The aviation deal will be signed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion airport and flights are expected to begin within weeks, the ministry said.
The Etihad airliner will return later in today to Abu Dhabi carrying Israeli businessmen, tourism industry executives and journalists.
First published: 09:05 , 10.19.20