In the midst of the hustle and bustle of a new peace plan initiated by President Donald Trump, said to be more promising peace in the Middle East, the Government of Israel gives the green light for its citizens to travel to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But the permit is only for Muslim Israelis travelling for pilgrimage or to worship.
All this time, Israeli Muslims have been traveling for Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage using the Jordanian state's temporary documents. According to the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Aryeh Deri, Sunday (1/26/2020), besides doing religious activities, Israeli Muslim citizens are also allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia for business activities, provided that there is an official invitation from the Saudi Arabian Agency. The permits meanwhile, are for approximately 90 days. As is known, Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations so there are difficulties for Israelis traveling to Saudi Arabia.
But the news from the Israeli authorities was responded by the government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia that they still have not given permission to Isareli citizens to enter the kingdom directly. As quoted by AFP, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan stressed that for now, royal policy still does not allow Israelis to enter Saudi Arabia because there is no diplomatic relations. But he did not deny however, that the Israeli and Palestinian conflict resolution can be solved peacefully, and that all matters can be discussed and negotiated with the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Indeed, Israel has not made an agreement with Saudi Arabia although with Egypt and Jordan, it has. But that does not mean the two parties do not have relations. In fact, for several years now, since the reign of King Salman, drastic changes have taken place in Saudi Arabia. Various concessions have been made in the application of sharia or Islamic law, including in business. It seems that this has something to do with the weakening world oil price which is the main source of foreign exchange for Saudi Arabia. In addition, it is suspected that Saudi Arabia and Israel have been meeting and even cooperating in secret. The secret meeting was not only for business matters but also politics and peace. Especially at this time, Israel and Saudi Arabia are facing the same enemy, Iran. Israel finds difficulties in confronting Iran, both with regard to the Palestinian issue with its Hezbollah forces, as well as other interests in the world. While Saudi Arabia is facing undermining the Shi'a problem at home.