Belarus claims Hamas threatened to blow up force-landed flight in Minsk
“We, the soldiers of Hamas...demand that the European Union withdraw its support for Israel in this war. There is a bomb on that plane. If you do not comply with our demands, the bomb will explode."
Belarus said on Monday that the false bomb threat that prompted a Ryanair passenger plane to be diverted to Minsk, where authorities detained an opposition-minded journalist on board, was written in the name of Hamas.
Authorities released what they said was a text of the bomb alert as officials sought to defuse a mounting international outcry over what Western capitals have denounced as an act of "state piracy."
In Minsk, the foreign ministry's spokesman said Belarus had acted in line with international regulations and a senior transport official read out what he said was the text of the bomb threat.
"We, the soldiers of Hamas, demand that Israel cease fire in the Gaza Strip. We demand that the European Union withdraw its support for Israel in this war," said the head of the transport ministry's aviation department.
"There is a bomb on that plane. If you do not comply with our demands, the bomb will explode over Vilnius on 23 May," he said.