KT in Israel: Journalists set to return after week-long on-ground coverage

Anjana Sankar and Juidin Bernarrd/Tel Aviv, Jerusalem
Filed on November 27, 2020 | Last updated on December 3, 2020 at 12.25 pm

Photo by Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT

Photo by Juidin Bernarrd/Khaleej Times

KT journalists are in Israel, feeling the pulse of change the new Abraham Accords have brought in the country.

Khaleej Times journalists were on board the maiden flight from Dubai to Tel Aviv, roughly two months after the UAE and Israel formally normalised relations on September 15 by signing the US-brokered Abraham Accords.

On Thursday, November 26 , flydubai flight FZ1163 took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 9.40am, and touched down at the Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport at 11.30am local time. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the special delegation saying “there will be many more flights” going both directions “but you can only be first once".

The Dubai-based airline will have two daily flights to Tel Aviv, and tickets are on sale for the first commercial service. Also, the UAE and Israeli citizens can travel without applying for a visa as both countries have agreed on visa-free travel.

Khaleej Times assistant editor Anjana Sankar, and multimedia journalist Juidin Bernarrd are now travelling across different cities of Israel, feeling the pulse of change the new Abraham Accords have brought in the country.

Live events

Day 8 - Khaleej Times in Jerusalem

After reporting on the Abraham Accords from the ground in Israel for over a week, Team Khaleej Times is all set to fly back to Dubai.

Day 5 - Khaleej Times in Jerusalem

Khaleej Times is live from Tel Aviv, the non-stop city of Israel

Day 4 - Khaleej Times in Jerusalem

Khaleej Times reporters travel to the north of Israel

Today we are traveling to the north of Israel where the country’s borders with Lebanon.

Israeli defense forces guard the northern border where it faces increasing threat from Hezbollah.

There is simmering tension between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah at regular intervals.

A few weeks ago Israeli defense forces IDF had foiled an attempt by an unidentified group to deploy explosives along the northern border. Today, Khaleej Times will be meeting IDF officials to understand how Israel counter threats from Iran and Hezbollah. Watch out this space for our full coverage.

Day 3 - Khaleej Times in Jerusalem

A little India in Jerusalem's old city

We visited the Indian Hospice inside Jerusalem’s Old City today. It is a ‘little India’ hidden in the swarming Muslim quarters of the old city. This 7,000 square metre area is a neutral and quiet spot standing in stark contrast to the bitter controversies of the land it is surrounded by. When you pass through the Herod’s Gate, an old entrance to the Muslim Quarter, the green gate bearing the name 'Indian Hospice' is unmissable.

“Welcome to India inside Israel,” Nazeer Hussain Ansari, the custodian of the 800-year old guesthouse, warmly welcomed us.

It is believed that Sufi Saint Baba Farid from India came to the Holy city of Jerusalem in the year 1200, and meditated in a cave for 40 days - and since then, Muslim pilgrims from India on their way to or from Makkah would stop and pray at the site. For nearly a century, now the Ansari family originally from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, has been taking care of this place. (Read full story here)

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

Today is Sabbath, a day for rest and worship for Jews. It is a unique experience to be in the holy city of Jerusalem on Sabbath.

It begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday, when the new week begins.

Before the sun sets on Friday, businesses, services and shops down their shutters. Public transportation, including buses and trains, also comes to a halt. It is as though the city takes a spiritual break - a sundown to sundown pause from the daily rigmarole of life.

It is a day to rest and time to pray and spend with family.

We were inside the old city yesterday, just before the Sabbath started, and we saw people rushing home to prepare for Sabbath.

Jews – both orthodox and liberal – could be seen coming in large numbers into the old city to pray at the Western Wall. The Temple Mount, where the relics of the old Jewish temple stand, is the holiest site for Jews.

Even finding food is tricky when you are in Jerusalem during the Sabbath. But in the Arab quarter in the old city, where majority of the residents are Muslims, it is business as usual.

After a long day exploring the historical sites of the old city, we came back to the modern city of Jerusalem. Late at night, we stepped into the predominantly Arab neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, where restaurants remain open till late. The Eastern Wall of the old city stood tall overlooking the city, part of which is resting, while another is active.

The unique juxtaposition of religious beliefs and cultures of a city that has centuries of stories to tell was a sight to behold at night.

Day 2 - Khaleej Times in Jerusalem

Video: The sabbath has begun and after a day in old city of Jerusalem, we are exiting the Jafa gate in to the modern city.

Inside the muslim quarter in the old city in Jerusalem

Khaleej Times reporter exiting the Jafa gate in to the modern city.

Here is the birds eye view of the ancient city of Jerusalem, the holy site for Muslims, Jews and Christians.

Ibrahim Sayed, 59, is the Israeli Arab Muslim Who is the guard of the biggest Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem.

A glimpse of the Western Wall at the holy city of Jerusalem

A musician plays a startone piano on the street of Jerusalem.

Byzantine time downtown Jerusalem. Standing at what is the modern city from the last few hundred years...

Khaleej Times reporters get a view of downtown Jerusalem from the fifth century.

Khaleej Times outside the Zion gate that leads to the old city of Jerusalem

Israeli police wish Marhaba UAE inside the old city

Photos: A view of Jerusalem, the holy site of Semitic religions — Islam, Christianity and Judaism

Video: A view of Jerusalem's Mount of Olives, used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150k graves, some 800 years old.

At the Church of the Agony on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Day 1 - Khaleej Times in Jerusalem

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