El Al
El Al iStock

The Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday evening that Israel has asked Oman, through technical-professional channels, to allow Israeli flights to fly over its territory, despite the fact that Israel does not have a peace agreement with the country.

Officials in Jerusalem were certain that the approval would have been given a long time ago, after Saudi Arabia agreed to allow Israeli planes to pass through its airspace, during the visit of US President Joe Biden from Israel.

However, difficulties were encountered from the side of Oman, which is taking its time and is in no rush to permit the move. It is believed Oman is making demands both towards Israel and the US and wants a return, though it is not clear whether that return is economic or security in nature.

In October of 2018, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to Oman, and it seemed there was a warming of ties between the countries.

Later, then-Minister Yisrael Katz also visited Oman, where he presented a plan for the construction of a railway between Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

However, Oman’s Foreign Minister said last year that his country will not be the next in line to sign a normalization agreement with Israel.

A political official told Israel National News, "It was quite clear to us that Oman would follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia and allow flights of Israeli airlines to pass through its territory. We are hearing from professional sources that the authorities are examining the issue and it is possible that a decision may not be made in the near future."

It is clear to all parties that the long-awaited approval will bring a great benefit to those flying from Israel, mainly towards destinations in the Far East, and the flights will be significantly shortened.

The political official who spoke to Israel National News added, "We are conducting quiet talks to speed up the move, but as of now there is no optimism that it will happen in the near future."