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  • Israeli citizens, mostly from Palestinians communities, currently do travel to Saudi Arabia, but without Israel's official approval for such travel.

    Israeli citizens, mostly from Palestinians communities, currently do travel to Saudi Arabia, but without Israel's official approval for such travel. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 January 2020 (9 hours 40 minutes ago)

The decision marks a first in both countries' history.

In the latest sign of rapprochement between the two nations, the Israeli government announced Sunday that it would authorize its citizens to travel under certain circumstances to Saudi Arabia, according to Haaretz.

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After having held discussions with the country's security and diplomatic services, Israel's Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri released a statement saying Israelis would be permitted to travel to the Gulf state for religious reasons, on a pilgrimage for the Hajj for instance, or for business reasons for up to 90 days. The decision marks a first in both countries' history.

The statement added that travelers would still need authorization from Saudi authorities. 

Israeli citizens, mostly from Palestinians communities, currently do travel to Saudi Arabia through third countries like Jordan for instance, but without the Jewish state’s official approval for such travel.

The move comes after United States President Donald Trump invited Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political adversary, the leader of the Blue and White Partyrival Benny Gantz, to Washington, DC.

Before the Israeli legislative election that will be held on March 2, marking the third vote in less than a year, the two leaders are set to hear details of the White House's long-postponed Middle East peace plan.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have backed last year an economic conference supporting Trump's "deal of the century" economic conference. 

No Palestinian leaders have been invited to the U.S. to take part in the discussions regarding a peace plan that purports to end a conflict lasting for several decades and that concerns them directly. They have said that no agreement can work without them implicated.

Israel has a peace deal with two Arab countries, Jordan and Egypt,  but its illegal occupation of Palestinian land has long been impeding similar accords with the rest of the Arab world.

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