TEL AVIV (Dec. 14)
The Syrian passenger plane forced down Sunday for violating Israel air space was released today and took off for Cairo, its original destination, with the Captain and remaining four crewmen and passengers who had not been released earlier.
The plane was released after the Israel authorities and United Nations observers had completed their inquiries among the passengers and crew. The pilot, a Greek national, had been freed earlier but preferred to remain in Tel Aviv until his plane was released. It was en route from Damascus to Syria when Israel fighter planes forced it to land at Lydda after it crossed Israel territory reportedly in the vicinity of Acre.
The plane originally carried five crewmen and five passengers. One passenger, an American, was released Sunday after he identified himself. Two Egyptian nationals and two Syrian nationals were released yesterday and turned over to their respective governments in the Gaza area and on the Israel-Syrian frontier yesterday.