Eleven Israeli pilots have been reportedly stranded in Egypt after landing in the country without having the required visas.
Israeli media outlets claimed that the pilots landed in Egypt but did not have sufficient fuel to fly back home.
The reports did not mention whether the pilots were military-affiliated or civil nor the exact type of the aircraft, only saying that the planes were “light”.
Citing “national security matters”, the Egyptian authorities have reportedly sought to deport the pilots.
"The pilots are out of fuel and are not being allowed to refuel," Israel’s Maariv newspaper said, adding that pilots are being “pushed to take other flights but the weather is currently too stormy for them to fly back.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s foreign ministry has confirmed the news. "From our inspection, the Israelis did receive permission to land the planes but did not receive visas for their entry into the country," an Israeli spokesperson said.
"We are handling the issue both at the embassy in Cairo and at the headquarters in Jerusalem so that the pilots can leave Egypt and return to Israel. They flew to Egypt without a visa. This is a mistake on their part and, as a result, they cannot enter the country," Israel National News online outlet quoted a ministry source as saying.
Both Egyptian median and authorities have declined to report and comment on the development by the time of writing.
No further details were immediately available.
Egypt was the first Arab state to recognize Israel and sign a peace treaty with the occupying regime. In 1978, then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat shook hands with Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin in a meeting hosted by US President Jimmy Carter at Camp David.
At a diplomatic level, the Egyptian government currently treats Israel as a friendly neighbor with which it has strong ties in different fields, particularly security.
Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses: