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This Month in History – August Release date 09.08.2017
23 years have passed since two Israeli "Baz" (F-15) fighters escorted the late King Hussein of Jordan on his flight in Israel’s skies, in celebration of the decision to end the state of war between the countries
IAF Site

23 years ago, the late King Hussein of Jordan flew over Israel. The flight was a symbolic act which followed the decision to end the state of war between Israel and Jordan. After two years of negotiations between Israel and Jordan, Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's Prime Minister, met with King Hussein and Bill Clinton, President of the United States, in Washington. It was then decided to officially end the state of war between the countries. Following the decision, a peace treaty was signed between Israel and Jordan on October 26th of that same year.

Archive Photo

Two IAF "Baz" (F-15) aircraft were sent to escort King Hussein's aircraft in honor of the agreement, while the King - an experienced pilot - flew the royal Lockheed Tristar himself.

The Royal Flight
The escort sortie occurred on August 3rd, 1994. Around 16:00 PM, a formation of “Baz” fighters, named “Fox of Peace”, greeted King Hussein upon his entrance into Israel's airspace.
“His Majesty the King: the Israeli Air Force is privileged to have the right to escort you on behalf of the government and the people of Israel, on your first flight over Israel”, said the formation leader. “Fox of Peace leader”, answered the king. “This is Royal Jordanian 001, Hussein speaking. Thank you for your warm welcome. I wish the people of Israel all the best and success in achieving regional peace. Thank you and welcome”.

Peace is Ten Meters Away
The two Israeli "Baz" fighters formed a formation with the royal jet. A distance of 10-20 meters was maintained between the escort aircraft and the Jordanian royal aircraft for the duration of the flight which was conducted at a height of 5,000 feet. They lower their altitude only when passing over Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, so that the King could see both cities from up close. Afterwards, the formation climbed back up to 5,000 feet and flew towards Dead Sea.

Archive Photo

While flying over Tel-Aviv, the King conveyed a message to Prime Minister Rabin over the radio: “Flying over Tel-Aviv for the first time in 46 years, this is another moment of success in our joint effort to maintain good neighborly relations. I thank God and you for our joint success in serving the purpose of peace for generations to come, for our relations based on mutual appreciation and cooperation between our states and people, for the Israeli-Arab peace we strived for”.

The escort ended with a "Tally-ho", which a common phrase in aviation, alongside a "Salam Alaikum". The King replied with "Salam alaikum, shalom", in Hebrew.