There were fears that the airplane, bound for Israel from New York’s JFK airport, may have been carrying a bomb or be under the control of hijackers.
According to unconfirmed reports in local media, Greek fighter jets were dispatched along with French NATO aircraft in response to the alarm on the plane.
A pair of HAF F-16s initially took off from the 111 Battle Wing in Araxos and approached the Israeli aircraft. Then a second pair of F-16s took off from the 115 Battle Wing in Kasteli and escorted the Israeli plane back into Israeli air space.
The El Al plane landed safely in Israel on Friday morning after it was ascertained that it was not under any threat, Creta 24 reported.
The plane was escorted by Italian Air Force jets before it entered the Greek Airspace.
There has been no comment yet from the airline or the Israeli civil aviation authorities over the incident.
El Al, the flagship carrier of Israel, which is the only commercial airline to equip its planes with missile defense systems to protect them against surface-to-air missiles, and is considered one of the world’s most secure airlines, thanks to its stringent security procedures, both on the ground and on board its aircraft.
Although it has been the target of many attempted hijackings and terror attacks, only one El Al flight has ever been hijacked; and that incident did not result in any fatalities.