Cycling - the 101st Giro d'Italia cycling race - The 229-km Stage 3 from Beersheba to Eilat, Israel - May 6, 2018 - Team Quick-Step rider Elia Viviani of Italy reacts as he wins the 3rd stage in Eilat, Israel. REUTERS/Nir Keidar
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The presence of the Gulf states' teams in the top cycling race, which has now moved on to its home territory in Italy, broke a boycott of Israel in place since the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948 .However, in an important break with traditional Arab protocols on events in Israel, the riders wore jerseys emblazoned with national colours and brand names of sponsors, state-owned Emirates Airlines and the Bahrain Petroleum Company, the official twitter accounts for the team websites showed.The Gulf teams' participation in a race in Israel may signal thawing ties among the U.S.-allied states who share a common enemy in Iran but drew some accusations that they were abandoning the Palestinian cause.Along with most other Arab and Muslim states, the two countries do not recognise Israel out of solidarity with Palestinians who seek a state in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
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