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Cyprus-based TUS Airways to fly first direct flights from Israel to Qatar breaking diplomatic stalemate

Cyprus-based TUS Airways has received final permission to operate non-stop flights to Qatar from Israel during the soccer World Cup, a source at TUS told Reuters on Friday.

In all, TUS will operate six flights between Tel Aviv and Doha, beginning on Sunday, the source said.

FIFA announced last week that Qatar would admit the first direct flights from Israel for the World Cup, on which Palestinians could also travel, but final details needed to be worked out.

TUS Airways is a subsidiary of Israel’s Knafaim Holdings Ltd.

Israel has also sent diplomats to help its citizens attending the World Cup in Qatar as the countries find a measure of accommodation for the soccer tournament despite having no formal relations.

Between 10,000 and 20,000 Israelis are expected at the month-long matches in the Gulf emirate, an unprecedented influx after years in which it admitted only low-key delegates.

Qatar is close to Iran and has hosted leaders of the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas.

Having normalised ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2020, the Israelis have suggested Qatar could follow if it tilts away from Tehran. Doha has ruled that out, saying Israel must first make way for a Palestinian state.


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