Shots fired at the airport in Kabul as crowds try to flee Afghanistan (Photo: Reuters)
We are familiar with the "joy shots" here at events in the Arab society in Israel, but it turns out that they also happen to our neighbors to the north: two passenger planes parked at the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut were hit yesterday (Sunday) by stray bullets fired from celebratory shots for the New Year.
The plane, belonging to the Lebanese airline Middle East Airlines (MEA), had no passengers or crew at the time of the incident on Sunday morning.
The two Airbus A321neo aircraft are almost brand new: one aircraft is less than two years old, while the other has been flown new by the airline since its construction and was delivered in July 2020.
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A Middle East Airlines plane (Photo: ShutterStock)
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According to the local media in Lebanon, following the shooting, the planes were towed to the hangar - where they will undergo repairs.
The damage, in the form of several very prominent bullet holes in the fuselage, is not considered serious.
Celebratory shooting in the air is common throughout Lebanon, especially at weddings and funerals, as well as on New Year's Eve, and it turns out that quite a few planes are damaged during the civil year celebrations in previous years in Lebanon.
In fact, the chairman of Middle East Airlines, Mohammed Al-Hout, said that the damage caused by stray bullets around Beirut's airport is so common that eight parked planes were hit by inadvertent gunfire in 2021.
In November 2022, the alarming phenomenon came to the fore, when a plane of the Lebanese company, while landing at Beirut airport, was hit by a stray bullet that penetrated the main cabin and entered the overhead storage compartment of the plane. None of the passengers or crew on the short 40-minute flight from Amman, Jordan, were injured. Following the incident, lawmakers demanded action to prevent From people shooting in the air around the airport.