One-hundred hijacked airline passengers and crew were released at Tel Aviv's Lydda International Airport on Tuesday (9 May).
One-hundred hijacked airline passengers and crew were released at Tel Aviv's Lydda International Airport on Tuesday (9 May). Israeli soldiers, masquerading as airport mechanics and dressed in white overalls, stormed abroad a Belgian airliner, killing two of the four Arab hijackers and seriously wounding a third in a 10-second gun battle.
Three of the passengers and two soldiers were also wounded in the climax to a 24-hour drama, which started on Monday, when a Sabena Airlines Boeing 707 was seized by two men and two women just after leaving Vienna on a flight from Brussels to Tel Aviv. The Arab guerrillas had threatened to blow up the aircraft with all on board -- including themselves -- if their demands for the release of 100 Arab prisoners were not met.
The Black September Organisation, which claimed responsibility for the hijacking, said on Wednesday that International Red Cross representatives had misled the hijackers. The organisation alleged Red Cross collusion with the Israelis. Instead of the Red cross fully supervising the delivery of food and water to the passengers - thereby preventing troops from entering the aircraft - soldiers disguised as workers got into the plane along with the food, the Arab guerrilla organisation said.