The first direct commercial flights between Israel and Morocco landed in Marrakesh on Sunday, more than seven months after the countries normalized diplomatic relations in a US-brokered deal.

Passengers from Tel Aviv arrived on an Israir flight early Sunday afternoon and were met with dates, cakes, and mint tea, at a welcoming ceremony organized in their honour.

“I am originally from Marrakesh. I’ve come back here around 30 times, but this time, the trip has a special flavour — it’s as if it were the first time!” an emotional Pinhas Moyal told AFP from the tarmac, his mask and bag in the colours of the Moroccan flag.

“This is a historic moment, this flight can only strengthen the bridge between Israel and Morocco,” said Benjamin Ron, a tour guide hoping to bring in other Israelis in the future.

Israir spokeswoman Tali Leibovitz told AFP that two to three flights per week were planned on the route.

A second flight, by the Israeli national carrier El Al, landed in Marrakesh later in the day.

Read the full article at Times of Israel

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