An international incident is a seemingly relatively small or limited action, incident or clash that results in a wider dispute between two or more nation-states. International incidents can arise from unanticipated actions involving citizens, government officials, or armed units of one or more nation-states, or out of a deliberate but small provocative action by espionage agents of one nation-state, or by terrorists, against another nation-state. An international incident usually arises during a time of relative peace between nation-states, and in general is, on the surface, an unexpected event. Conflicts that grow out of a series of escalating skirmishes between nation-states generally are not considered international incidents; however, terrorist actions can and often do become international incidents. However, historical views of past international incidents often reveal the incident was the flashpoint of a simmering conflict between nation-states, or organizations opposing nation-states. Wars have often been provoked by international incidents, and diplomatic efforts to prevent international incidents from growing into full-scale armed conflicts often have been unsuccessful. In the aftermath of the First World War, the League of Nations was established to help nations who were parties to an international incident achieve a solution to the incident through diplomatic means. Initially, the League of Nations had some success in working to find diplomatic solutions, however the failure of the League of Nations to prevent World War II resulted in the disbandment of the League of Nations in favor of the United Nations. As with its predecessor, the United Nations provides a means by which nations involved in an international incident can work to resolve the matter diplomatically rather than through the use of force. The term is also applied to various incidents that can disrupt international commerce, and to celebrities or other well-known people who commit gaffes or otherwise act inappropriately, causing the press and sometimes governments to criticize their actions. The International Court of Justice keeps a list of legal disputes between nation-states, many of which result from international incidents. The Royal Mail of the United Kingdom keeps a list on its website of current international incidents that might disrupt mail service. The incidents listed may or may not conform to the definitions given above.
The term international crisis is widespread term without a single common definition. To some, it involves "a sequence of interactions between the governments of two or more sovereign states in severe conflict, short of actual war, but involving the perception of a dangerously high probability of war".
Aircraft hijacking incidents between the United States and Cuba were at their height between 1968 and 1972. These incidents have variously been attributed to terrorism, extortion, flight for political asylum, mental illness, and transportation between the two countries as a result of the ongoing antagonistic Cuba-United States relations and the Communist government restrictions against Cubans attempting to leave Cuba. Subsequent measures by both governments contributed to a gradual reduction of reported incidents towards the mid-1970s. Governmental measures included an amendment to Cuban law which made hijacking a crime in 1970, the introduction of metal detectors in U.S. airports in 1973, and a joint agreement between the U.S. and Cuba signed in Sweden to return or prosecute hijackers. Below is a non-comprehensive list of hijacking incidents of aircraft between Cuba and the United States.
EgyptAir Flight 648 was a regularly scheduled international flight between Athens Ellinikon International Airport in Greece and Cairo International Airport in Egypt. On 23 November 1985, a Boeing 737-200 airliner, registered SU-AYH, servicing the flight was hijacked by the terrorist organization Abu Nidal. The subsequent raid on the aircraft by Egyptian troops resulted in dozens of deaths, making the hijacking of Flight 648 one of the deadliest such incidents in history.
On 19 February 1978, Egyptian special forces raided Larnaca International Airport near Larnaca, Cyprus, in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking. Earlier, two assassins had killed prominent Egyptian newspaper editor Yusuf Sibai and then rounded up as hostages several Arabs who were attending a convention in Nicosia. As Cypriot forces were trying to negotiate with the hostage-takers at the airport, Egyptian troops launched their own assault without authorization from the Cypriots. The unauthorized raid led to the Egyptians and the Cypriots exchanging gunfire, killing or injuring more than 20 of the Egyptian commandos. As a result, Egypt and Cyprus severed political ties for several years after the incident.
The 1961 F-84 Thunderstreak incident, occurring on 14 September 1961, was an incident during the Cold War, in which two Republic F-84F Thunderstreak fighter-bombers of JaBoG 32 of the German Air Force crossed into East German airspace because of a navigational error, before landing at Berlin Tegel Airport. The two planes successfully evaded a large number of Soviet fighter planes by finding cover in a heavy layer of clouds, but also by the actions of an airman at the United States Air Force air route traffic control center at Berlin Tempelhof Airport who ordered the planes on to Berlin rather than forcing them to turn around and face the pursuing fighter planes. The event came at a historically difficult time in relations between the two Germanies. Only a month before, the Berlin Wall had been built, which completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. It also came three days before the West German federal election, held on 17 September 1961.
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