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Emirati astronaut gifts Israeli flag he took to International Space Station

United Arab Emirates astronaut Hazzaa al-Mansoori gestures shortly after the landing in a space capsule about 150 km (90 miles) south-east of the Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan, on October 3, 2019. (Dmitri Lovetsky/Pool/AFP)
United Arab Emirates astronaut Hazzaa al-Mansoori gestures shortly after the landing in a space capsule about 150 km (90 miles) south-east of the Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan, on October 3, 2019. (Dmitri Lovetsky/Pool/AFP)

The first Emirati astronaut brought an Israeli flag with him when he traveled to the International Space Station in 2019, the director-general of the Foreign Ministry says.

Alon Ushpiz tweets that Hazzaa al-Mansoori gifted the flag to Israeli officials during a visit to the Israeli pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.

“This is a gift for all Israelis,” al-Mansoori said at the pavilion, according to the Ynet news site.

The astronaut’s trip — the first by an Arab to the International Space Station — came nearly a year before Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize diplomatic ties as part of the US-backed Abraham Accords.

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