Controversy with Israeli plane that made an emergency landing in Turkey: El Al accuses ground staff of refusing to refuel

Israeli airline El Al Airlines at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, Photo: Jakub Borzicki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock Editorial/Profimedia

A plane belonging to Israeli airline El Al was denied refueling by Turkish ground staff after it was forced to make an emergency landing at Antalya airport to evacuate a sick passenger, AFP reported on Sunday.

Flight LY5102 from Warsaw to Tel Aviv was forced to depart for Rhodes in Greece, El Al explained in a statement.

“Local workers (in Antalya) refused to refuel the company’s plane, despite an emergency landing for medical reasons,” El Al said.

Turkish diplomatic sources confirmed to AFP that the plane was authorized to make an emergency landing because a passenger on board was unwell.

“The fuel was supposed to be transferred to the plane (…), but as the procedure was about to be completed, the captain decided to leave on his own initiative,” a Turkish diplomatic source said.

Relations between Israel and Turkey, some of the Muslim-majority countries that have recognized the Jewish state, have deteriorated since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, which was triggered by an October 7, 2023 attack by the Islamist group Hamas on Israeli territory. .

Air services between the two countries have been suspended.

Also, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan increased his support for the Palestinian movement Hamas and condemned the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip.

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