World Cup 2022: Israel and Palestine reach landmark agreement allowing football fans to travel to Qatar

FIFA has announced that Israeli and Palestinian fans will be able to travel to the World Cup in Qatar in a landmark agreement.

Special charter flights will be laid on from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to take the supporters to Doha.

The flights, which will be mixed and will include residents of the occupied Palestinian Territories and the Gaza Strip, will be operated by an airline that has landing rights in Qatar.

Commenting on the announcement, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: "We are delighted that an agreement has been reached for Israeli and Palestinian fans to visit Qatar and attend matches during the FIFA World Cup.

"With this deal, Israelis and Palestinians will be able to fly together and enjoy football together.

"I would like to thank our Israeli, Palestinian, and Qatari counterparts for helping to make this happen.

"Football has the power to bring people together, it transcends all boundaries, cross all borders, and foster unity like nothing else."

The outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said it was the result of "hard work over the course of many months".

Nearly three million tickets already sold

Israel and Qatar don't have official diplomatic relations, and Qatar has made clear this announcement shouldn't be "politicised" and it doesn't mean that is going to change; travelling Israeli fans will have access to consular services through a private company in Doha.

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So far, an estimated 8,000 Palestinians, and 3,800 Israelis, have applied for the special world cup visas – more Israelis are expected to be processed in the coming days.

The Qatar World Cup will be the first to be held in the Arab and Muslim world. 2.9 million tickets have been sold, roughly 98% - despite the controversies over human rights.

Qatari officials say this is proof that it will be one of the best attended tournaments in history.