First ever deployment of Israeli fighter jets in Germany

Deployment began with joint German-Israeli flyover above Dachau concentration camp.

Y Rabinovitz ,

IAF flyover
IAF flyover
Eliran Aharon

On Tuesday, Lieutenant-Colonel E. of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) directed the IDF’s first ever exercise on German soil involving Israeli fighter planes. A formation of fighter aircraft, including IAF F-16 jets and Eurofighter jets from the German Luftwaffe, conducted a flyover above the site of the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, where over 40 thousand Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Following will be two weeks of joint aerial maneuvers.

Lieutenant-Colonel E stated: “This deployment is of tremendous significance, as it is the first time ever that Israeli fighter planes are being deployed in Germany. We come here with a very clear message – that we have the duty to recall and commemorate the dark hours of the past, and also, that we have a special responsibility to shape the future and make the world a safer place via our aerial diplomacy.”

The flyover was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Dachau, AFP reports, attended by IAF Commander Amikam Norkin and his German counterpart Ingo Gerhartz, as well as German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff. Luftwaffe chief Gerhartz noted that the joint exercise was “a sign of our friendship today.”

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the IAF air base in Hatzor and spoke with Commander Norkin as well as Lieutenant-Colonel E., who described the proposed flyover.

Netanyahu responded that, “This flyover is highly symbolic, as you will be flying over Dachau, where many thousands of Jews were slaughtered. Today we are not threatened by Germany but rather by Iran,” he added. “The great lesson of the Holocaust was that no one will step forward to protect Jews if we do not stand up for ourselves. Today, we protect ourselves. May you all see success,” he concluded.