Benjamin Netanyahu leaves Poland after plane mishap delayed departure

Vastavam web: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to spend an extra night in Warsaw after his plane was damaged following an airport mishap shortly before departure. He departed around noon Friday, marking an inauspicious ending to a turbulent visit. The prime minister and his entire entourage were on-board a chartered El Al plane the night before after a two-day visit to a high-profile security conference, when a vehicle towing the aircraft on the runway crashed into it.

A photo circulated to travelling journalists showed large scrapes in the underbelly of the aircraft. A replacement plane was dispatched from Israel to urgently return the prime minster before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath at sundown. The mishap happened as Netanyahu’s government is trying to purchase an official plane for the prime minister to use. It capped a tumultuous visit for Netanyahu, who was in Poland for a U.S.-sponsored security conference attended by several high-profile Arab officials from Gulf countries.

Netanyahu had hoped to use the gathering to showcase his budding ties with the Gulf Arabs. But a verbal gaffe and a video leaked by his office threatened to overshadow the event. Late Thursday, his office briefly leaked a video showing Bahrain’s foreign minister, and representatives of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates playing down the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and harshly criticizing Iran.