Tags Posts tagged with "airspace"

airspace

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An unusually loud rumbling was heard over Lebanon early this morning. Having grown up with Israeli jets buzzing over my home–and sometimes witnessing them release red dots (missiles) that destroy power plants, bridges and nearby villages–I still get a little jittery when I hear them. However it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes between a low-flying commercial plane and a fighter jet at high altitude. Nowadays you can verify your fears by going to websites like flightradar24 to double check who is in the skies above–military planes are never listed.

I did that this morning and almost fell out of my chair when I noticed it was indeed a flight from Israel, but this time a commercial flight. More specifically it was a United Airlines Dreamliner (perhaps explaining the noise) bound for San Francisco.

 

Here’s a closer view showing it over the capital.

I went to another tracking website, Flightware, to reconfirm I wasn’t seeing double:

So how and why did this happen,  considering that US authorities have long banned US planes from landing in Lebanon and Lebanese flights from landing in the US, which would seemingly cover air space rights as well.

According to the Facebook page “Lebanese Plane Spotters” the United flight was diverted due to bad weather and the air traffic control tower allowed this for humanitarian reasons. But there has been no official explanation I could find.

All this makes me think about the recent Twitter war and the hashtag #TelAvivLovesBeirut with a subtext of shaming Lebanese for not “loving” Israel back after a single Lebanese twitter account asked not to be tagged in a post by an Israeli.  The campaign took off after a shoddily reported and one-sided Haaretz article described Lebanese as “childish” and was later reinforced by the mock account of the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad (which never misses an opportunity to dehumanize the other side).

Of course the real Mossad and the Israeli military is well known for its love of Beirut. This was not lost on Lebanese tweeps who have endured Israel’s wars on Lebanon. Among the responses:

Clearly love is a two-way street. Now would the Israelis or the Americans allow a Lebanese flight to travel over their airspace?

On the question of love and humanity, actions should speak louder than hashtags.

 

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Correction: This post initially misidentified The Mossad mock account as an actual account. But unlike other parody accounts, this one actually seems to support the agency it impersonates. 

 

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Yesterday we set out for a fun day on the slopes.

Thankfully, when we reached the peaks at Faraya, the lifts were running smoothly:
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And the mountains were blanketed:
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But, as usual, we had some unexpected visitors:

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Ruining that perfect shot:

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Crisscrossing over the skies

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And down toward the slopes:

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Looping and looping:

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Letting us know they were there:

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At one point, it seemed there were trying to entertain us with shapes:

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But I have seen this air show before. And it’s not the kind you want to attend or choose to attend.

These are Israeli fighter aircraft routinely violating Lebanon’s airspace–an air show of intimidation if you will.

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We see it so often in Beirut–I’ve posted about them before. Last year there wasn’t enough snow for boarding, but we saw them the one day I went in 2013–see pictures here.

It’s as if they are always there. Some years they bomb, some years they don’t. You’re never quite sure when they are armed and when they are not. Would any other country tolerate this?

But the F16s didn’t stop us from having a good day. Here are a couple panorama shots.

That’s Biblical Mount Hermon (Jabal el Shaykh) in the distance:

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This is the view toward North Lebanon (Al Arz) and the Mediterranean is on the far left.
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One word of advice for those heading up this year: Put chains for your tires because the roads are not exactly clear:

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