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Russian Hijacked Airliner Lands

November 12, 2000

JERUSALEM (AP) _ A hijacked Russian airliner with 58 people aboard was allowed to landed early Sunday in Israel, and Prime Minister Ehud Barak postponed a meeting with President Clinton on Mideast peace to deal with the crisis, officials said.

The plane was allowed to land in Uvda, near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, after hijackers threatened to blow up the aircraft, Israel radio said.

Israel had refused the Dagestan Airlines plane, a Tu-154, permission to land at Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, the country’s main airport.

Shortly before the plane touched down at 6 a.m., Israel radio’s monitor Mickey Gurdus recorded a conversation with the pilot of the hijacked plane, who said he only had fuel left for ``slightly more than an hour.″

``We are counting on you,″ the pilot added, speaking in Russian to Ben-Gurion’s control tower.

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