The first Emirati astronaut has also presented the flag as a gift to all Israelis at the Expo Dubai 2020.
The director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that Hazzaa al-Mansoori, the first United Arab Emirates’ astronaut, brought the Israeli flag into space on his first space flight back in 2019.
According to an Israeli news outlet Ynet, al-Mansoori handed over the same flag he carried into space as a gift to delegates of the Israeli pavilion at the Expo Dubai 2020.
The 38-year-old astronaut launched aboard the Soyuz MS-15 in September 2019, a year before the Abraham Accords signing, which normalized ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.
In his speech, while visiting the pavilion in his spacesuit, he admitted that he brought the Israeli flag with him two years ago on his first mission as an Emirati astronaut, and he is happy to present the flag as a gift to all Israelis.
Josh Bendit, exhibition chief at the pavilion, highly appreciated al-Mansoori’s move by saying that the flag he was given was a precious and touching gift to receive. Also added that the arrival of al-Mansoori in a spacesuit to visit their pavilion showed genuine caring for Israelis.
Al-Mansoori was part of Expedition 61 to the International Space Station (ISS) and spent eight days at the station before returning safely to Kazakhstan in October.
The crew of Expedition 61 who also joined al-Mansoori on space travel was Jessica Meir, an Israeli-American astronaut who also marks her first space flight.
Additional information also said that al-Mansoori had also intended to visit Israel in early January if the coronavirus epidemic allowed.
And during his planned stay in the Jewish state, he is expected to make several visits to important places such as the Ilan Ramon Museum and Memorial at Mitze Ramon.