Detail have emerged of an El Al Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner passenger jet mistakenly entering southern Lebanese airspace just days after armed Hamas fighters launched attacks against civilians in Israel.
On October 10, 2023, the El Al Boeing 787 entered Lebanese air space for several minutes after taking off from Israel just after 2:30 am local time, for the United States (US).
According to Israel Hayom, storm clouds in the area meant the pilot of flight LY21 needed to navigate around the turbulent weather but the new route mistakenly took the aircraft into Lebanese air space.
The pilot was in contact with the Israel Defense Forces and air traffic control when the decision was made to bypass the bad weather.
Noticing the mistake, air traffic control immediately directed the passenger westwards and away from southern Lebanon.
It appears that the confusion was caused by new flight routes that had been put in place due to break out of fighting in Israel, combined with the unfavorable weather conditions.
The south of Lebanon is a strong-hold of Hezbollah, an organization that has been designated terrorists by multiple countries, including the US and Israel.
Following the incident El Al launched an investigation and ensured that all staff were aware of new flight paths and procedures.
“In the first days of fighting there was an operational need to change existing routes, for security reasons, we will not be able to detail beyond that. We will emphasize that at no point was the security of passengers and crew at risk, and that El Al put the safety and security of passengers at the top of priorities,” El Al said in a statement.
Hamas launched a series of attacks in Israeli neighborhoods close to the border with the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023, and carried out multiple acts of violence against civilians.
Since the attacks, Israel has launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip over many weeks.
Many countries are calling for permanent ceasefire while others support Israel’s right to protect itself from terrorists.