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May 7, 2015 1:58 pm

Saudi Arabian Airlines Denies Plane Landed in Ben Gurion Airport Despite Claims by Israeli Officials

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Saudi Arabian Airlines denied claims that one of its jets landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Photo: Screenshot

Saudi Arabian Airlines on Thursday denied reports that one of its jets landed in Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport despite contrary claims by Israeli officials, Al Jazeera reported.

The airline claimed on its official Twitter account that “None of Saudi Arabian aircrafts [sic] landed in the airport mentioned in the viral tweets,” referring to Ben-Gurion Airport. “We are currently investigating whether any of the contracted companies violated their contract with Saudi Arabian Airlines.”

The company continued: “Contracts of leased aircrafts [sic] prevent them from landing or transiting in countries that do not have relations with the Saudi Kingdom.”

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The airline issued the denial after David Dadonn, Israeli ambassador in the Foreign Ministry’s Middle East Department, tweeted on Wednesday a photo of what he said was a Saudi Arabian Airlines passenger jet taxiing on the tarmac at Ben Gurion. Dadonn said that the aircraft landed for technical repairs.

Other Israeli officials told The Jerusalem Post that a Saudi Airbus A330-300 landed in Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday night coming from Brussels. The plane was empty, according to the report, with only the crew on board, and belongs to a European company that is leasing it to Saudi Arabia.

The maintenance work was being conducted by the Bedek Aviation Company, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), officials said.

An IAI spokesperson told the Jerusalem Post, “IAI confirmed that the Airbus came to IAI facilities in order to have maintenance work done due to an agreement that IAI has with a European company that leases the plane to Saudi Arabia.”

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, though reports have indicated secret diplomatic and intelligence ties, especially following the Arab Spring uprisings and Iran expanding regional influence.

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  • AT TIMES IF NOT VERY OFTEN SILENCE IS GOLD.
    Why embarrass the Saudis at this time.

  • Tawanda Chichinye

    Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations. How then will Israel military aircraft fly through Saudi airspace for that presumptive strike against Iranian nuclear complex. It would appear its Israel that needs the Saudis than vice versa. The Saudis have a third of the world’s oil by the way.

  • Charles D. Gelfand

    I have heard it said that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
    The Sunnis in Saudi Arabia have much more to fear from the radical Shiites in Iran, than from the Jews in Israel.
    The real key to peace in the Middle East would be for the Saudi’s and Israelis bringing the Palestinians to the table with America, Egypt and Jordan and making peace.
    They really all need each other, so their children will have a much better life.
    The majority of my customers happen to be Moslems,, both Shiite and Sunnies.
    I really feel good being a Jew and having those people trust me with their life savings.
    It’s my duty to help these people become very successful so that their children will also have a more wonderful life here in the United States.

  • Yale

    Pardon the mixed aeronautical metaphor, but could this plane be a trial balloon to see what the response is from the Arab street?

  • art frank

    Their inane comments indicate two things: They are consumed with hatred of Jews; and they are born liars. And both traits are part of their “culture” If they didn’t have oil and gas, they’d still be living in tents in the dessert.

  • Lauren Rivka Goldman

    Unless this photo was taken in The Twilight Zone, it certainly shows ‘Saudia’ on the fuselage. Given the general truthfulness of arab officials, a wait-and-see view of the situation would probably be the way to go.

  • These are the same idiots who arrested a migratory bird because it had been tagged by ornithologists in Israel.

  • Saudi Arabia is even abandoned by Pakistan .So there is no other go for Saudi Arabia except having relationship with it. After all Iran does not like Saudi Arabia having the Mecca and Medina in its hands. So Israel having the sovereignty over Jerusalem need not be fussed much. Let them join with the Jordanian Wakf board to manage the Jerusalem mosques and have relationship with israel

  • Perhaps this is a beginning , the Saudies and Israel need each other .

  • ms Bo Salsberg

    I don’t see how something as big as an airbus can be denied at the airport. Either it was there or it wasn’t. Looks like somebody goofed. Something is very wrong if the Saudi’s forbid it and Israel allowed it…

  • glenda urmacher

    Saudia Arabia could do more for the peace process than the United States ever could.
    Recognizing Israel in public could show the world that Israel is not any enemy, but a friend
    when in need.
    Someone, somewhere in the Arab world there has to be another Andwar Sadat.
    A forward thinking, and modern Saudi.
    Please step forward.
    I have great confidence you do exist.

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