Israeli Plane Carrying Medical Aid Lands in Sudan
A private Israeli jet landed at Khartoum airport on Tuesday and returned to Tel Aviv the same day, Israeli sources confirmed despite an official denial from Sudan.
The Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth said that the private plane with the registration number N84UP, was previously used to transfer money from Doha to Tel Aviv. The sums were then transported by armored vehicle to the Gaza Strip and received by a Hamas representative.
Earlier, Israeli Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Shimon Aran reported that an Israeli private plane landed at Khartoum International Airport on Tuesday morning.
Later, Ynet website detailed the plane’s itinerary saying it set out from Tel Aviv towards Eilat airport at 9 am Tuesday, then flew over the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea, and passed the Egyptian airspace. The jet entered Sudan airspace and landed at Khartoum airport, two hours after takeoff.
Sources in Tel Aviv said that the Israeli plane carried medicine and medical equipment to help the country confront the coronavirus outbreak.
They indicated that officials decided to send the plane to help treat the advisor to Sudan's leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Najwa Gadaheldam, who contracted the virus and died early Wednesday from complications stemming from the coronavirus.
Gadaheldam was instrumental in fostering relations between Tel Aviv and Khartoum after she sponsored the meeting between Burhan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Kampala earlier this year.
Yedioth Aharonoth related the reports about the plane with Netanyahu’s statement during a cabinet meeting that he called officials, including Burhan and Gadaheldam, to congratulate them on Eid al-Fitr.
Netanyahu stated that Sudan is witnessing a shift in its relations with Israel, recalling his February 3 meeting with Burhan at the invitation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Khartoum International Airport spokesman Mohamed Mahdi Abdoun issued a statement denying claims about the arrival of the Israeli plane.
Abdoun asserted that no Israeli jet landed at the airport and there are no scheduled flights at the facility, stating that Sudan’s airspace has been closed to all commercial flights since the spread of the coronavirus.
Sudanese Armed Forces Spokesman Brigadier General Amer Muhammad al-Hassan also denied that an Israeli plane had landed at Khartoum airport, asserting in a Facebook post that a plane arrived from Turkey carrying medical aid.