The very first flight of a new route connecting Israel's north and its southernmost coastal extreme took off on Thursday afternoon, heralding a new and welcome convenience for domestic Israeli travel.
The flight took off from the airport in Rosh Pina in the Upper Galilee, located to the north of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), and made its way to Eilat on Israel's southern tip.
Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara (Likud) was present at the airport for the first flight of the new route, together with heads of the Galilee regional committees and the Transportation Ministry. Also taking part were representatives of the company Ayit Aviation and Tourism, which will manage the new flight route.
At the event Kara said that despite the threat of Hezbollah and Islamic State (ISIS), the state of Israel is continuing to develop.
He added that Israel's problem does not lie with the Arab states of which he claimed a majority want connections with the Jewish state due to the Iranian nuclear threat, but rather the problem for Israel is the hypocrisy of the West. Kara vowed that Israel will overcome this hypocrisy, to the applause of those in attendance.
Kara revealed at the event that he is working on a 34 million shekel ($8.6 million) program to develop the Rosh Pina airport and turn it into a regional hub for local flights. The plan aims to increase tourism in the region where many Christian pilgrims visit, as well as to allow Muslims in Israel to head to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for their Hajj pilgrimage.