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Saudis say Israeli planes violated their airspace

The official Saudi press agency said Nov. 9 that Israeli military aircraft violated Saudi Arabian airspace in the northwestern region of the kingdom. ''Our fighter planes intercepted them, which led to their return to the occupied Arab lands,'' a military spokesman in Riyadh was quoted as saying.

Monitor correspondent Stephen Webbe reports from Washington that US defense official commented that ''the Israelis have operated there [in northwestern Saudi Arabia] for years, either collecting intelligence or training. The Saudis haven't said anything about it until now.'' The official added that the Saudis now seem to want to make a ''public issue'' of it.

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A Pentagon spokesman made the additional point that the American AWACS surveillance planes were not involved in the incident.