January 7, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Iraq war leaves IAF scrambling

The headline of the Jerusalem Post article is "IAF scrambles jets as Egypt's airliners violate airspace" The story tells of the increasing number of Egyptian civilian planes getting frighteningly close to Eilat, noting that

Only four people have the authority to order the downing of a passenger jet – the prime minister, defense minister, chief of General Staff and commander of the air force. The threat of a hijacked plane being crashed into an Israeli target is so worrisome that a test-drill, with aides to each of the key quartet, is held every week.
But there's more bad news from whoever it is in the IAF who has apparently decided that it's time to pressure the U.S. (via the media) to pressure Egypt to stop these games: They're scared they may being paying a price in security for Bush's adventures in Iraq:
The Egyptian flights aside, one of the main worries in the IAF relates to Saudi Arabia's F-15 squadron in Tabuq. Until last year, Saudi Arabia had been restricted by the US from deploying F-15s at Tabuq to minimize friction with Israel. But the US, which sold the planes to the Saudis in 1991, lifted that restriction as a modest concession in return for Saudi approval for overflights for US aircraft and missiles striking Iraq.

Last September, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon warned of a possible strike by an F-15 flown by a Saudi pilot who had been recruited by al-Qaida. He said Israel had asked the Americans to pressure Saudi Arabia to move the squadron out of quick striking range, but nothing changed.

Well, if we're winning the war on terror, I guess it's alright then....

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