Israel, Cyprus Launch Operation for Missing Plane

Israel and Cyprus launch joint search and rescue operation after small Cypriot plane en route to Beirut, Lebanon, disappears.

Cynthia Blank ,

The Mediterranean
The Mediterranean
Israel news photo: Arutz Sheva

The Associated Press reported that Cyprus and Israel have launched a joint search operation for a small plane. The plane was reported missing Wednesday by Lebanese authorities while en route to Beirut, officials said.

The operation, being carried out with the participation of Cypriot and Israeli air and sea rescue teams, was launched at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night. 

The plane disappeared Wednesday evening after taking off AT 7:00 P.M. from the airport in the city of Paphos, on Cyprus' western coast. The plane was a twin-engine Diamond DA42 according to Cyprus' Civil Aviation Department.

The plane disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea, around 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Larnaca, a city on Cyprus' southern coast, reported the Ministry of Defence. Two passengers were on board. 

Lebanese airport officials said earlier that a Lebanese and a Cypriot were aboard when the plane dropped off the Lebanese radar screens.

The officials at the Beirut International Airport spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not yet allowed to give statements to media.

According to the officials Lebanese search teams are looking for the plane in the Lebanese waters of the Mediterranean.