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Flight with 12 Israelis forced to land in Malaysia, departs safely 5 hours later

Emirates service from Dubai to Singapore lands due to bad weather; passengers remained on plane as Foreign Ministry worked to ensure their welfare

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

An Emirates flight from Dubai to Singapore with 12 Israelis onboard was forced to land in Malaysia Wednesday morning due to bad weather, the Foreign Ministry revealed.

Malaysia and Israel do not have diplomatic ties.

According to the ministry, Director-General Ronen Levy oversaw efforts to reach the passengers and ensure that they were safe. Diplomats worked with Emirates to contact one of the passengers and stay abreast of their welfare.

The passengers on Flight 354 did not deplane, and took off again for Singapore after waiting on the runway for five hours.

Last month, a plane from the Seychelles to Tel Aviv full of Israeli passengers made an unscheduled landing in Saudi Arabia — which also does not maintain relations with Israel — due to a technical issue.

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A replacement flight was organized to fly the passengers to Tel Aviv the next morning.