Israel blames Russia for interference to its GPS systems over the last month or so.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Talk about sending mixed signals.
Israel security officials say Russia is behind the disruptions that plagued Israel’s civilian navigation systems for the past three weeks. Israel’s Army radio called it a “hostile attack.” The interference took place even as Russia’s National Security Adviser took part in a historic tripartite meeting in Jerusalem earlier this week.
The Israel Airports Authority said it was forced to make changes to “entry procedures” to ensure safe landings.
“At no stage was there a safety incident related to GPS interference in connection with the accuracy of navigation and flight routes. From the first day that the disturbance appeared, all the elements in Israel have been working to solve the problem and find the source of the problem,” the Airports Authority said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
According to Reuters, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations said on Tuesday that “many” pilots lost GPS satellite signals near Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. The association warned of “potential risk” and advised flight crews over Israel to “avoid distractions and plan for alternative procedures as necessary.”
Russia denies that it had anything to do with the disruptions that Israel’s GPS systems experienced.
If Russia is responsible, it appears to contradict the message of warming ties broadcast at the meeting that took place from June 24-26 between Russia, Israel and the U.S. Russia’s National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev joined for discussions concerning regional security. Also participating were U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.
The meeting was noted as historic since the national security advisers from the three nations had never met before for a trilateral meeting.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, upon greeting the Russian national security adviser, “I would like to state as clearly as possible that cooperation on the security level between Russia and Israel has already contributed greatly to security and stability in our region and has led to substantial change in the situation in the region.”