Dagestan Airplane Incident - November 12, 2000

In November 12, 2000 a Russian hijacker took over a Dagestan Airlines airplane on route to Moscow, along with its 50 passengers, using a fake bomb. The hijacker first demand was to land the airplane in Israel's main Airport - Ben Gurion, and he threatened to explode the airplane in air if won't be allowed to do so.

Unclear information concerning the situation inside the airplane was received through the Russian Aviation Authorities from the pilot, who was under great stress. As a result, the misleading impression was created that there were four hijackers and that the hijacking might have a connection to the latest Israeli-Arab riots. All Israel's Takeover moved to alert at this stage.

At first Israel said it will not allowed the airplane to land in its territory, afraid the hijacker might crash land the airplane on a major Israeli city. However, when the pilot reported having enough gasoline to stay in the air for only two more hours, it was decided to allow the plane to land at the Ovda AFB in the Negev, far from central Israel.

Landing the airplane at this isolated incident not only prevent vast interference in Israel's main airport, but as a military controlled AFB it was also an ideal location for an hostage rescue team attempt. Once the decision to allow the plain to land was made, several teams from LOTAR Eilat and YAMAM arrived by helicopters to the AFB, probably hopping for a another Sabena style operation. As all of the IDF Engagement units engaged Territories or on alert along the Israeli-Lebanese border, several officers and cadets from the IDF Officer School arrived to the scene as a backup.

plain.jpg (14112 bytes)

Dagestan airplane land in Ovda AFB.

plane2.jpg (11581 bytes)

Israeli Takeover units personnel (seen under the left wing and before the right wing) secure the airplane.

After several hours of negotiations, in the course of which it was made clear that the hijacking was not related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the hijacker surrendered him to the custody of the security forces on the scene, and the passengers of the airplane were released.

plane.jpg (17428 bytes)

Once the hijacker surrendered himself, large forces arrived to the plane to evacuate the hostages and search for more hijackers and hidden explosives.

The hijacker, a 30-year-old fanatic, delivered the IDF a videotape and two letters, one addressed to the Japanese emperor and the other to leaders of the western world, in which he warns the "white race" of the danger of being dominated by the "yellow race". The hijacker also said he had chosen Israel as a destination for landing because "The Jews are smart, and will know how to handle the situation". The airplane was later refueled and took off for its original destination, without the hijacker, who was be turned over to the Russian authorities.

plane-_locimia.jpg (12576 bytes)

An officer from the IDF Officers School (note the BAHAD 1 logo on his cap hat), sitting next to one of the released hostages, a child who suffer from Locymia (note the medical mask on the child's face).

Operations Guide