Israel, Germany pay homage to Holocaust victims with historic joint flight over former Nazi concentration camp

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Israeli Air Force planes took part in several exercises over Germany on Tuesday – including flying over the former Nazi Dachau concentration camp – marking the first time that Israeli planes have entered the area. German airspace.

The moment when the Luftwaffe Commander Lt. General Ingo Gerhatz greeted the Israeli Air Force in German airspace was captured in video.

“On behalf of the German Air Force, it is an honor for me to welcome the Israeli Air Force which is entering German airspace for the first time in history”, can – we can hear Gerhatz in the video posted Tuesday.

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Major General Amikam Norkin, the head of the Israeli jets, responded by saying he was “proud” to lead his country’s first deployment to Germany.

“It’s a testament to our strong ties and mutual commitment,” he said. “Hail, you and your air force.”

German Air Force Bundeswehr Eurofighters and Israeli Air Force jets fly in formation over Fuerstenfeldbruck Air Base in commemoration of the Olympic Games assassination attempt in 1972 in Fuerstenfeldbruck, Germany on Tuesday August 18, 2020 (Sven Hoppe / dpa via AP)

The two air forces marked the occasion on Tuesday with two Israeli F-16s and two German Eurofighters escorting an Israeli Gulfstream 6-500 Air Force carrying commanders of the two air forces above the Dachau memorial camp outside of Munich. A third Eurofighter filmed the formation.

They paid homage to the Jews and others killed there during the Holocaust.

They also flew over Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield in honor of the 11 Israeli athletes who were killed in the Munich massacre during the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Two athletes were killed and nine others were taken hostage by the Palestinian Black September group from the Olympic Village on September 5, 1972. During a botched rescue attempt at the airfield by German police, the other athletes, as well that five of their captors and a West German police officer were killed.

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Six Israeli F-16s, two Gulfstreams and two Boeing 707 tankers arrived in Germany on Monday for two weeks of exercises with the German and Hungarian air forces. About 180 Israeli personnel are involved.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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