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A Saudi Airlines airplane touched down at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport for the first time late Tuesday night, according to local reports. The empty passenger plane, owned by a European company and leased to Saudi Arabia, arrived from Brussels for technical maintenance.
Puzzled social media users circulated images of the solitary plane on Twitter and Facebook wondering if the mysterious landing signaled changing relations between the two countries. Saudi Arabia does not officially recognise Israel as a state, and there are no direct or indirect flights between the two countries.
A spokesperson for Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) confirmed the plane's arrival stating "routine maintenance" is part of the services Ben Gurion provides to the aircraft manufacturer. The Saudi airline denied the plane landed in Israel and said they were investigating.