First time in the country’s history: Israelis will be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia

First time in the country's history: Israelis will be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia

In a fresh sign of warming ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Interior Minister Arye Dery signed a directive on Wednesday permitting Israelis, under certain circumstances, to visit Saudi Arabia for the first time in the country’s history.

According to the order, Muslim citizens of Israel are permitted to travel to the Saudi city of Mecca to perform the Hajj or Umrah religious pilgrimage.

First time in the country's history Israelis will be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia (3)

It also allows Israeli businessmen to go to the kingdom to participate in business meetings and funding if the applicant already made arrangements for the visit with Saudi officials.

The visit is limited to nine days.

Until now, Israeli law banned citizens from traveling to many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, without express permission from the interior minister. Increasingly common visits to the kingdom by Israeli businessmen were generally held secretly.