Radio interference linked to Russia over Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport disappears

The GPS glitches that were occurring in the airspace over the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv have now disappeared, the Israeli Airports Authority announced in a statement. Take-offs and landings are now taking place normally and using their original routes. The warning to the crews of airliners taking off or landing at the airport has also been lifted.

At present, there is no clear explanation of what caused the GPS glitches.

At the end of June 2019, Israel’s Army Radio reported that the radio interference in Israeli airspace was a consequence of Russian activity. The radio station noted that a senior Israeli official had already met with US representatives in Europe to discuss the situation.

When asked by the radio presenter whether the incident could be considered cyberwarfare, the aerial security expert being interviewed said that “the interference can be called an attack against Israel”.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA, based in Canada) had been receiving numerous complaints from airliner crews concerning faults in the GPS signal near Ben Gurion Airport. The IFALPA even issued a warning, cautioning pilots to take into account the risks associated with a loss of signal.

In January 2019, Nadav Argaman, director of the Israel Security Agency, said that a foreign government could attempt to interfere with the country’s snap parliamentary elections by hacking servers.

In April 2018, the Israeli news outlet Haaretz published an article warning of possible Russian interference in the elections. The article claimed that Israel’s governance is important to Moscow because Israel plays a significant role in Middle Eastern politics and can impact Russia’s geopolitical interests.

The article also mentions a statement by former Israeli Chief of General Staff Gadi Eisenkot that a foreign government could interfere with elections. Eisenkot did not mention any specific country, but cited previous cyberattacks and the interference in US elections, as well as the incitement on social networks intended to cause civil unrest in countries such as France and Ukraine.

In May 2017, Israel detected an extremely dangerous Russian reconnaissance aircraft in its backyard: An A-50, which is used to detect and follow airborne targets and ships, and to alert the command posts for automated troop control systems.

  Russia, Israel, Syria