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Eleven Israeli pilots stranded in Egypt after being denied entry and refuelling

Pilots who arrived in Egypt in light aircraft had landing permits but were without valid visas, Israeli foreign ministry says
A file photo taken on 20 February 2022 shows Israeli Airlines El Al Boeing 737 planes on the tarmac in Israel's Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv (AFP)
A file photo taken on 20 February 2022 shows Israeli Airlines El Al Boeing 737 planes on the tarmac at Israel's Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv (AFP)

Several Israeli pilots have been stranded in Egypt since Wednesday after flying into the country without valid entry visas, according to Israeli media.

Israel's Kan broadcaster said 11 pilots were involved in the incident, but the exact location of where the pilots landed was not reported.

The pilots, who arrived in light aircraft, had received a landing permit but were denied entry and told to go back to Israel  "for national security reasons," Maariv reported. 

"The pilots are out of fuel and are not being allowed to refuel," the Israeli newspaper said.

"They are being pushed to take other flights but the weather is currently too stormy for them to fly back."

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson told Maariv: "We received a request and we are trying to help with the authorities.

"From our inspection, the Israelis did receive permission to land the planes but did not receive visas for their entry into the country."

Egyptian officials have yet to comment on the incident, and Egyptian media had not covered it by the time of writing. 

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