A Russian diplomatic source has dismissed allegations about Moscow’s involvement in the ongoing disruptions to the satellite navigation systems of planes flying around Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport.
“This is a fake news that we cannot seriously comment on”, the source underscored.
The statement comes hours after Israel’s Galei Zahal radio station, affiliated with the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), cited unnamed high-ranking sources as saying that Moscow could be responsible for the interference with the aircraft’s GPS reception at Ben Gurion Airport.
There has been no word on the cause of the alleged interference from the Israel government nor IDF officials yet.
At the same time, the IDF stressed that the issue had not affected its operations and that it is “of civilian concern”, with the military providing “technological support in order to facilitate freedom of movement within Israel’s airspace”.
The IDF was echoed by the Israel Airports Authority which claimed that the alleged interference had not caused safety incidents but it had a “significant impact on all aspects of operating a plane from the cockpit, as well as on managing air traffic”.
Galei Zahal radio, meanwhile, also quoted Amos Yadlin, the former head of the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate, as claiming that although Russia has no reason to deliberately hinder the operation of Israel’s main airport of Israel, Ben Gurion could have been inadvertently affected by Russia using electronic warfare systems in Syria.
The crisis in the Arab Republic started in 2011, when various opposition groups, dominated by hardline Islamists, attempted to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the Arab Spring riots.
In a move endorsed by Assad, the Russian military began an air campaign in Syria in 2015 in order to help Damascus end the war and defeat radical militants, including those of the Daesh* terror group. With the operation ending in 2017, part of the Russian Aerospace Forces' contingent is still in Syria, cooperating with the Syrian Army in destroying terrorists’ infrastructure.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries