JERUSALEM (Oct. 30)
Two Jordanian planes which flew briefly over the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel yesterday were in the middle of a training flight, according to Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Rabin told the Knesset today, in response to an urgent question by Likud MK Yehoshua Matza, that the equipment and ammunition on the planes indicated it was only a training flight.
“I do not believe that one can surprise us, “Rabin said. He asserted that Jordanian planes were often flying near the border with Israel, and an error such as that was possible.
He said the Israel Air Force was capable of distinguishing when the intention of such incidents are hostile, and in such cases, he said the Air Force would know how to handle them.
“Anyone who thinks Israel’s defense system cannot distinguish between a training flight and an offensive attack does not know the capability of the system,” he said. The entire incident, according to Rabin, continued for some two to two-and-a-half minutes.
There were unconfirmed reports that a Syrian missile battery fired on the Jordanian aircraft as they returned to Jordan by way of Syrian air space. The reports said the missile was fired from near where the Israeli, Jordanian and Syrian borders merge, missing the aircraft.