Defense Official: Russia Has History of Breaching Israeli Air Space

Israeli Airspace

This article first appeared in the Times of Israel:

Russia has breached Israeli airspace more than once since it began intervening in Syria, a top Israeli defense official revealed Saturday. Because Jerusalem and Moscow maintain close security coordination, however, Amos Gilad added, these violations do not lead to crises such as the one now flaring between Moscow and Ankara after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that entered its air space last week.

“Russian air force pilots at times cross into Israeli air space. [But] thanks to the excellent security coordination [between Israel and Russia], which started right after the meeting between [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin [two months ago], and in which defined areas of operation were set, the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian military agreed on security agreements,” Gilad, who is the director of the political-security division in the Defense Ministry, said at a public event in Beersheba.

“If there is a violation [of Israeli airspace], we know what to do and how to prevent an escalation,” Gilad noted.
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