Israeli commercial planes began overflying Sudan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, casting the new air corridor as a result of a breakthrough meeting with the African Muslim country’s de-facto leader this month.
Khartoum said on February 5 it had given Israeli planes initial approval to fly over its territory, two days after Sudan’s top military official Abdel Fattah al-Burhan held a surprise meeting with Netanyahu in Uganda.
Now we’re discussing rapid normalization. The first Israeli airplane passed yesterday over the skies of Sudan, Netanyahu said in a speech to US Jewish leaders on Sunday.
Sudan has stopped short of saying it is normalizing ties with Israel.
After the meeting in Uganda, the Associated Press news agency quoted a Sudanese military official as saying the decision was coordinated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and also aimed at removing Sudan from the US’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.
In January 2016, Sudan’s former Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandoor said normalizing relations with Israel would be possible in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions on his country.
Israel previously considered Sudan to be a security threat because it suspected Iran used Sudan as a conduit for overland smuggling of munitions to the Gaza Strip. In 2009, regional sources said, Israeli aircraft bombed an arms convoy in Sudan.
The corridor described by Netanyahu would also take planes over Egypt, which signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979, and Chad, which in 2018 restored long-severed relations with Israel.
The continent’s rapprochement with Israel is unfortunate, because, for decades, Africa has stood as a vanguard against all racist ideologies, including Zionism the ideology behind Israel’s establishment on the ruins of Palestine, wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud.
If Africa succumbs to Israeli enticement and pressure to fully embrace the Zionist state, the Palestinian people would lose a treasured partner in their struggle for freedom and human rights, Baroud added.
Source: Palestine Chronicle