Following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent secret visit to Oman, a spate of Israeli ministers are visiting Gulf Arab countries that do not formally recognize Israel.
Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, coinciding with Netanyahu's trip to Oman, where he met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
Meanwhile, Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara headed to an International Telecommunications Union conference in Dubai on Monday, and Transportation Minister Israel Katz is set to attend a global-transportation meeting in Muscat next week. Katz received an invite from his Omani counterpart - the first time an Israeli minister has been invited to such an event in the sultanate.
Israeli Culture Minister
On Sunday Regev, a former Israeli army spokesperson, watched her country's judoka team compete in the International Judo Federation's Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi.
Israel's national anthem, Hatikvah, was played for the first time in the United Arab Emirates after Israeli judo athlete Sagi Muki won the gold medal at the International Judo Federation's Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi.
"We made history. The people of Israel live!" she tweeted after the anthem was played. Previously Israelis have only been allowed to compete at the event without showing their national flag.
Israel's national anthem the Hatikvah was played at a judo tournament in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after one of its athletes won gold. Hatikva calls for the mass return of Jews in the diaspora to "the Jewish homeland."
Regev, known for controversial comments about Arabs and Muslims, on Sunday toured the famed Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi, wearing a red full-length abaya and white headscarf and speaking to the camera in Hebrew.
"This is the first time that an Israeli minister is here on a visit," Regev said, surrounded by a group of people in traditional Emirati dress.
Regev is a member of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and former spokeswoman of the Israeli army.
Rail line from Israel to Gulf States in Oman
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz will head to Oman to attend a regional-transportation conference, called the IRU World Congress, which will convene is Muscat from November 6th to 8th.
The Israeli Minister push for a regional rail line that will link Haifa with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, media reports said.
"The initiative called 'Tracks for Regional Peace' is aimed at connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf (the Persian Gulf) by rail via Israel as a land bridge and Jordan as a regional transportation hub," Katz's office said.
Katz is expected to present the plan when he address a regional-transportation conference. According to his office, "This is the first time an Israeli Minister has been formally invited to participate in an international conference in Oman."
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