Fortunately, the bomb threat was false.
Two combat fighters MiG 21 of the Croatian Air Force on Tuesday received the orders from the NATO headquarters located in Torrejon, Spain (Combined Air Operations Centre – CAOC) and intercepted an Israeli aircraft which entered Croatian air space, announced the Defence Ministry, reports Index.hr on July 5, 2016.
It was an Israeli Boeing 747 aircraft, which was on a flight from the United States to Israel, and which received reports about a possible bomb threat, which later proved false.
The NATO command issued an order just before 9 am for the monitoring of aircraft during its flight over the airspace of the Republic of Croatia, and two aircraft which were on standby intercepted and escorted the Israeli aircraft from 9.07 to 9.20 am, from the entry point at Bregana to the exit point southeast of Slavonski Brod. The interception was carried out according to NATO rules and procedures laid down for such a situation, the statement said.
The entire NATO airspace is considered to be a united area and all the rapid response forces which carry out air policing functions are coordinated and synchronized under the command of NATO’s CAOC, which is responsible for initiating the interception procedure.
The aircraft of the Israeli company El Al safely landed at the airport in Tel Aviv, after the airplane was escorted by warplanes over Europe. The plane was flying from New York to Tel Aviv, and was over France when reports about the bomb arrived. El Al’s Boeing was therefore first escorted by French warplanes, and then by Swiss air force. Unofficial sources claim that Italian warplanes did not respond because of the shortness of flight over Italy and it was decided that Croatian fighter jets were to take over the task over Croatia.
A security check upon landing at the Ben Gurion airport revealed that the threat was false.