On Sunday, Israel’s interior ministry announced that Interior Minister Arye Dery signed a directive according which Israelis are permitted to visit the Arab kingdom for the first time in the occupying regime’s history, Israel's leading daily Haaretz reported.
It added that the ministry’s order, which was made in coordination with the Israeli military, only allows two groups of Israelis to go to Saudi Arabia:
Arab Muslims who wants to perform the annual pilgrimages known as the Hajj and the Umrah in the holy city of Mecca. Israeli pilgrims have so far visited Saudi Arabia for performing such Islamic rituals on temporary Jordanian papers.
The second group is those Israelis who want to go to the Arab kingdom and stay there for business reasons, such as investment or meetings, limited for up to 90 days. These travelers need an invitation from Saudi authorities and are required to have taken care of the necessary paperwork to enter Saudi Arabia.
Until now, Israeli law banned residents from visiting many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, without express permission from the interior minister. The growingly common visits by Israeli businessmen were generally held secretly.