Hamas yesterday rejected Belarus’ claim that it was behind a false bomb threat that prompted the diversion of a passenger plane to Minsk, where an opposition journalist on board was arrested.
On Monday authorities released what they claimed was the text of the bomb alert, Al Jazeera reported, highlighting that officials were seeking to defuse mounting international outcry over what Western capitals have denounced as an act of “state piracy”.
“Allegations by the Belarusian Transport Ministry are baseless and absurd,” senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk wrote on Twitter.
“Since Hamas’ foundation, our battle has been exclusively with the Israeli occupation,” Abu Marzouk stressed.
A Belarusian fighter jet intercepted a Ryanair passenger plane – flying from Greece to Lithuania – and forced it to land in Minsk on Sunday, claiming a bomb was on board. None was found.
Police then detained opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega when the plane landed in the Belarus capital. After international criticism, Belarus authorities claimed that there had been a threat made against the plane forcing authorities to divert the plane. Adding that Hamas was behind the bomb scare.