Palestinians 'not informed' of latest UAE aid flight via Israel

PM Shtayyeh says Palestinian Authority is not against receiving help from any 'Arab, European or international' country as long as 'it's fully coordinated with us'; Abu Dhabi earlier said it was to operate second flight via Israel, carrying medical aid

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Tuesday said he was unaware that a plane from the United Arab Emirates was to fly to Israel carrying medical aid for the Palestinians.
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  • His remark cast doubt over whether the Palestinians, long at odds with Israel over land they seek for a state, would accept the supplies after they rejected a similar shipment last month, saying it had not been coordinated with them.
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    המטוס מאבו דאבי
    המטוס מאבו דאבי
    First shipment of aid arrives in Israel from UAE
    (Photo: Airport Authority )
    "If any country, whether Arab or European or international country wants to help us, we welcome that. We don't say no - as long as it is not conditional and as long as it is fully coordinated with us," Shtayyeh told reporters in Ramallah.
    His Palestinian Authority views with sensitivity any attempts to direct aid or assistance to areas under its limited self-rule in the West Bank without its expressed knowledge and coordination.
    Etihad Airways earlier said it would operate a rare, second flight to Israel carrying the medical aid on a cargo-only service from Abu Dhabi. The UAE foreign ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
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    השבעת הממשלה הפלסטינית החדשה
    השבעת הממשלה הפלסטינית החדשה
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh
    (Photo: AFP)
    State-owned Etihad on May 19 operated the first known flight by a UAE airline to Israel. It transported supplies to help the Palestinians combat the new coronavirus after the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) coordinated a 16-tonne shipment from the UAE.
    Israel does not have diplomatic relations with the UAE or any of the other five Gulf Arab countries, and there are no commercial flights between them. However, shared concerns over Iran's influence in the region have led to a discreet thaw in ties between Israel and the Arab Gulf in recent years.
    The Palestinians have warned against Arab normalisation with Israel, which has pledged to annex the West Bank's Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley.
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