Israeli media sources revealed official Israeli efforts to organize direct Hajj trips between Israel and Tel Aviv for those wishing Palestinians inside the territories occupied in 1948 to perform the Hajj, and stated that these efforts made progress.
The sources reported that the Likud leader in the Knesset, Mickey Zohar, went to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the possibility of opening the way for 48 pilgrims to go to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage on direct flights from Tel Aviv to Saudi Arabia.
Zohar indicated that progress has been made in the request, which will resolve Netanyahu’s intervention in this issue, which he described as important.
He said that the Likud party supports freedom of worship and religions, adding that his request for this comes in light of Benjamin Netanyahu’s success in developing contacts with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Likud leader in the Knesset said that he appreciated that Netanyahu would take care of himself to overcome any obstacles, and that he invited him to take advantage of his contacts with Saudi Arabia in order to allow the pilgrims inside to go to Saudi Arabia on direct flights at a very moderate price.
It is customary for Palestinian pilgrims inside the Green Line to arrive in Jordan, and from there they obtain from the Jordanian Ministry of Endowments a temporary Jordanian passport through which they cross the Saudi borders to perform the Hajj.
And the Israeli Interior Minister Arieh Deri signed for the first time last month a decree allowing the Israelis to visit Saudi Arabia officially.
According to what was reported by the Israel Today newspaper, Israelis will be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia to participate in trade meetings or search for investments, provided that the visit does not exceed 9 days, in addition to the purposes of Hajj and Umrah for Palestinians in the occupied territories in 1948.
Meanwhile, an Israeli-Russian blogger bragged that he had visited the Kingdom recently, and members of the police in the Kingdom treated him very warmly when he showed the Israeli passport.
The Hebrew newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” reported that Levchen visited the kingdom taking advantage of Israel, in January, for its citizens to travel to the Kingdom to “participate in trade meetings or search for investments.”
She added that perhaps the first Israeli to officially visit the Kingdom since the Israeli decision. “The Saudis are particularly friendly, both hope and women,” said the Israeli blogger.
“Because the Kingdom has been closed to foreigners for many years, they (Saudis) are not very used to tourists. I fear that the average Israeli tourist will face problems.”
Levchen entered Saudi Arabia on his Russian passport, but Saudi police officers discovered at the border crossing (he did not mention his exact location) that there was no stamp of departure on the passport from Cyprus, from which he arrived in Saudi Arabia, according to the newspaper.
He added to the newspaper that he had to take out his Israeli passport, which the Saudi police officers met with with a smile, and one of them told him: “This time, you will visit Saudi Arabia as an Israeli, God willing.”
Levchen claimed that the Saudis who met him and knew that he was an Israeli “showed their interest and happiness in the relations between the two countries.”
He added: “Some have told me that their dream is to visit Israel as tourists.” During his trip, Levchen toured Saudi Arabia from the Yemeni border in the south to the Jordan border in the north, and stayed in mountainous areas with cold weather, according to the newspaper.
Israeli reports have repeatedly spoken of unprecedented progress in relations of normalization between the Saudi regime and Israel amid secret cooperation that shapes all areas.
In this regard, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel has secret relations with many Arab and Islamic countries.
“I develop relations with Arab and Islamic countries, and I can tell you that only one, two or three of them do not have ever-strengthening relationships with us,” Netanyahu said in a speech to a conference of heads of American Jewish organizations in West Jerusalem.
He stressed that what he says is only 10% of what is happening in secret relations that unites Israel with Arab countries in the region.
And Netanyahu considered that these giant changes stem from the fact that Israel is a force that must be taken into consideration. Addressing the Arab countries, he said that cooperation with Israel helps ensure the future and security of your people.