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Israeli jets intercept U.S. commercial flight

Israel scrambled fighter jets to intercept escort an American commercial passenger plane to landing on Wednesday, Israeli officials said.
/ Source: Reuters

Israel scrambled fighter jets to intercept and then escort an American commercial passenger plane to landing on Wednesday, Israeli officials said.

An Airports Authority spokeswoman said Continental Airlines' Flight 90 was intercepted after it failed to identify itself upon entering Israeli airspace.

The plane, a Boeing 777, was on a scheduled flight from Newark, N.J. All passengers and crew disembarked safely, Israeli officials said.

The Transportation Ministry said it was investigating whether there was a technical reason for the initial lack of communication between the plane and Israeli ground control.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the incident was the closest that the Israeli Air Force has ever come to firing on a civilian airliner.