Preparations underway to let Palestinians fly to Turkey via Israel
According to the Israeli media, “from Ramallah to Istanbul via Israel” flights will begin as early as August.
“If the flights from Ramon Airport are officially implemented, it would be a historic move, allowing, for the first time, Palestinians to fly abroad from Israel,” i24news reported.
Currently, Palestinians who want to travel abroad to popular destinations such as Türkiye or Saudi Arabia must go from Palestinian territories, the West Bank, to Jordan by land through the King Hussein (Allenby) crossing and take off from Amman’s airport.
The initiative is part of a series of economic gestures aimed at making life easier for Palestinians, an agenda item on U.S. President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and the West Bank last week, according to Israel Hayom, a local daily.
Ramon International Airport, which opened in January 2019, remained empty throughout the COVID pandemic, and even now is struggling to regain its footing in relation to international flights.
An official at Ramon Airport told Israel Hayom that they welcome the initiative and hope it will be implemented and expanded.
“For more than two years, there have been no international flights here. This place needs to come back to life, and any move in this direction is welcome. Hopefully, more airlines will return flights to Ramon,” the official said.
The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said: “Recently, the defense establishment has been carrying out staff work on the subject. We emphasize that the work on this matter has not yet been completed and approved by the relevant parties.”