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Israel considers buying its own 'Air Force One'

Published on Dec 16, 2013 7:21 AM

JERUSALEM (AFP) - A week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly chose to miss freedom icon Nelson Mandela's memorial service because of travel costs, Israeli ministers voted on Sunday, Dec 15, 2013, to consider buying an Israeli equivalent of "Air Force One". They approved creating a committee to consider buying a plane for the premier and president, "as is customary in many other countries", a government statement said, floating the possibility of a shared aircraft for Netanyahu and globe-trotting President Shimon Peres.

The most famous official jet is commonly known as Air Force One, which is actually the call sign for whatever official aircraft the US president uses.

"Currently, planes are chartered from commercial companies, the cost of which frequently runs into millions of shekels per trip," the statement said.

Last week, media reported that Mr Netanyahu cancelled plans to fly to Johannesburg for the Mandela memorial - attended by nearly 100 world leaders - over projected costs of around 7 million shekels (S$2.5 million) for transport and security.

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