Sudan 'green lit' Netanyahu flight over South Sudan

Sudan 'green lit' Netanyahu flight over South Sudan
In an unprecedented move, Sudan allowed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to fly over South Sudanese airspace on a return trip to Israel.
2 min read
21 January, 2019
Binyamin Netanyahu (L) met with Chadian President Idriss Deby on Sunday [AFP]
Khartoum granted permission for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to fly over South Sudan on Sunday in an unprecedented move, according to Israeli media reports.

Netanyahu briefly flew over South Sudanese airspace, which is under the control of Sudan, while returning home from a trip to Chad.

News of the move comes amid efforts by Israel to normalise relations with a number of Arab and Muslim states. Netanyahu travelled to Chad to renew diplomatic ties with the Muslim-majority country, which severed ties with Israel in 1972.

Sudan, which has no official diplomatic ties with Israel, currently controls the airspace over South Sudan as the world's youngest country prepares to take over administration of its own airspace.

Reports emerged in November that Netanyahu was planning a visit to Khartoum as part of his normalisation push, however Sudan's government swiftly quashed the rumours.

Sudanese minister of information slammed told reporters at a press conference at the time that hostility against Tel Aviv will last until "the end of days".

"The religious and ideological hostility between Sudan and Israel will continue until the hour of judgement," Bishara al-Jumaa was quoted as saying.

Israel currently has full diplomatic relations with only two Arab states - Egypt and Jordan.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have also moved closer to Israel over the past few years and have close relations with Israeli intelligence.