Israel scrambles jets after EgyptAir hijacking
The plane was hijacked and taken to Cyprus on Tuesday morning after a passenger threatened to blow himself up. It is not known if the passenger had a bomb strapped to himself although he was treated as such.
The case has been ruled not as terror, as the would-be bomber reportedly had asked to see his estranged wife.
“It is not something which has to do with terrorism,” President Nicos Anastasiades told reporters.
The Israeli war planes were deployed to protect Israel’s air space, the IDF said.
“IDF planes were called up in light of the hijacking of an Egyptian plane to ensure Israeli airspace was not breached. When the plane landed in Cyprus, they returned to their base,” the IDF spokesman said.
EgyptAir flight MS181, landed in Larnaca, located on the southern coast of Cyprus, where the hijacker allowed most of the 81 passengers, including several Americans, and crew off the plane. Four crew members and three foreign passengers remained on board, according to the Egyptian aviation minister.
The hijacker was arrested by Cypriot security officials on Tuesday afternoon, ending the standoff. The strapped-on bomb belt was found to be fake.