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article imageGibraltar complains of four Spanish jet planes entering airspace

By Anne Sewell     Jul 4, 2013 in World
Gibraltar - In the latest incident in the tensions between Gibraltar and Spain, four Spanish jet planes buzzed the tiny British-held territory on Wednesday, entering the airspace apparently without permission.
Digital Journal reported recently on the problems caused by the Guardia Civil boat reportedly shooting at a jet skier in the waters off Gibraltar.
Spain explained that their boat was pursuing a possible smuggler, but said they did not fire. UK Prime Minister David Cameron apparently had words with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy over the problems.
Now yet another incident has caused upset to the tiny UK-held territory, with Gibraltarians complaining to London on Wednesday that four Spanish air force jets had entered the territory without seeking permission.
The government of Gibraltar issued a statement, saying that four Matador jets, belonging to the Spanish air force, had entered its airspace from the northwest on Wednesday, apparently en route to an aircraft carrier about 12 nautical miles southeast of the territory.
The statement said, "At no time did the aircraft make contact with Gibraltar's air-traffic control and the Spanish air traffic authorities in Seville gave no warning of the aircrafts' approach."
On top of this, apparently air traffic controllers at Sevilla airport had delayed the departure of a British Airways flight to London from Gibraltar for 12 minutes, to ensure safe take off during the fly-over.
Once again, Gibraltar is calling on Britain "to take up the matter of this military incursion into the airspace of Gibraltar at the highest diplomatic and military levels."
Besides the recent jet ski incident, in December last year, Digital Journal reported that a British MP Bob Stewart had accused Spain of "an act of war," after Spanish naval ships repeatedly entered the territorial waters of Gibraltar.
Commons leader Andrew Lansley said two Spanish naval vessels had entered the waters off Gibraltar and at the time Sewart told MPs: "May I gently remind the House that an illegal incursion into British Gibraltarian sovereign waters is actually, technically an act of war?"
'What is happening at the moment is wrong and we should do something about it."
While Britain has held Gibraltar since 1713, Spain still wants the territory returned.
According El Mundo (Spanish language), Gibraltar believes it has jurisdiction over three nautical miles around the Rock, and does not recognize Spain's sovereignty over this water. Spain insists that under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, Britain only has sovereignty over the waters of the harbor itself.
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