Flights briefly halted
Photo: Gil Yohanan
First missile missed drone
Photo: Hiam Horenstein

BG Airport briefly suspends flights over suspicious object

Departures, arrivals halted for several minutes after Air Force detects suspicious object in the sky; fighter jets scrambled

Operations at the Ben Gurion Airport were briefly suspended Wednesday morning after a suspicious object was detected in the sky over central Israel by Air Force aerial control systems, prompting the scrambling of fighter jets.


For safety reasons, it was decided to halt all departures and arrivals and three delays were recorded. Several minutes later it was confirmed the object was not a hostile aircraft.


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Israel's aerial control centers have been on heightened alert since the infiltration of a drone into Israeli airspace on Saturday, and several fighter jets have already been launched at suspicious objects.


Meanwhile, Yedioth Ahronoth exposed new details on the downing of the drone over the Yatir Forest last week. According to the report, the first missile fired by the F-16 jet missed the drone. The second Panther missile, the IDF's most advanced air-to-air missile, hit the target.


Past interceptions of drones were successful with the first missile, however senior IAF sources said such a miss was reasonable when taking into account the drone's size.


"This is not a failure, no other army in the world with Israel's aerial defense systems, could prevent the infiltration of such aircraft."


The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in response, "The Air Force intercepted the aircraft while using all means necessary. Naturally, the complex professional procedure of interception cannot be elaborated on. As per standard protocol, the IAF will conduct a professional inquiry into the event."


Shahar Chai contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 10.10.12, 09:35
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