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Study: Peace presents risks for airlines

Israel’s peace deals with its Arab neighbors increase the risk of airborne terrorist attacks, a study warned.

Ron Tuegeman, an Israel Air Force lieutenant-colonel conducting research at Haifa University and the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies and Israel’s National Defense College, on Tuesday made public a summary of his thesis about the impact of recent peace accords on national security.

Tuegeman said Israel did not take into sufficient consideration, when it made peace with Jordan and Egypt, that it was effectively opening up its airspace to civilian planes that easily could be commandeered by Arab terrorists for 9/11-style ramming attacks.

“It seems that today, with the hindsight of the air terror attack on the United States, these lanes of air travel would not have been opened,” Tuegeman wrote.

He urged Israeli decision-makers to consider the implications of any future handover of the West Bank to a Palestinian Authority with insufficient security provisions.

“It will be enough if the Palestinians acquire an anti-aircraft missile system – shoulder-fired missiles such as SA-7 – to shut down Ben Gurion Airport and effectively halt the majority of Israeli air traffic,” Tuegeman wrote. “In any political-security agreement, Israel will not be able to concede sovereignty over its airspace to any neighboring Palestinian entity that will be established.”

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