Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced once again to cancel an official trip to the UAE and Bahrain due to the shuttering of Ben Gurion Airport stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement released from the Israeli premier’s office said that the decision was made “despite the importance of the trip.”
“Netanyahu very much appreciates the invitations from Crown Prince [of Abu Dhabi] Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed and the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa and the historic peace between our countries,” the statement read.
The development marks the third time Netanyahu has canceled planned visits to the Gulf Arab nations due to coronavirus-related restrictions or political considerations.
Netanyahu had originally planned a three-day trip where he was expected to visit Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, as well as Manama, Bahrain next week, but decided to shorten it to three hours over COVID-19 variant concerns.
On January 24, Israeli ocupation government moved to shutter Ben Gurion Airport and restrict all incoming and outgoing flights.
Originally scheduled to last only a week, the Israeli cabinet voted to extend the decision and is currently in talks to keep the transportation hub closed until the spread of the virus declines.
Source: Israeli media