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Israel reaches deal with Qatar to allow direct flights during World Cup

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

A woman walks past a store in a mall in Doha on October 29, 2022, ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)
A woman walks past a store in a mall in Doha on October 29, 2022, ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Israel reaches an agreement with FIFA and Qatar to allow direct charter flights from Ben Gurion Airport to Qatar for the World Cup, which begins on November 20.

The charter flights will be run by an airline that currently flies to Doha, but will be subject to Israel’s security measures.

The Foreign Ministry will also provide consular services through a private international travel company, says FIFA.

Noting that the talks had taken months to complete, Prime Minister Yair Lapid thanks the Foreign, Transportation, and Culture and Sports ministries, and the National Security Council for their successful efforts.

Palestinians will also be able to fly to the tournament on the flights.

Israel and Qatar do not have diplomatic relations.

“We have successfully secured all guarantees, including access to consular services for Israelis during their stay in Qatar,” says Alon Ushpiz, Foreign Ministery Director General.

“As the first World Cup ever hosted in the Middle East, it promises to be a celebration of football and an opportunity for Israelis to build connections and share cultural experiences with people from across our region and the wider world.”

“With this deal, Israelis and Palestinians will be able to fly together and enjoy football together,” says FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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