Natalie and Howard, you should maybe think a bit, even for a few seconds, before writing just about anything. Kneejerk reactions make for poor comments. After 9/11 - and even before it for those who know a bit about 1970's Middle Eastern history - one of the dangers that exists with a hijacking is the attempt to crash the plane in a heavily populated area. The fighters were sent up to ensure that that scenario would not occur. Even if the hijackers were to ask to land in an Israeli airfield, the fighters would be there in order to guide the plane toward the runway, well away from any populated areas. One wrong move and it's not impossible to imagine the IAF having to down the plane.
Police disperse hundreds in brawl in Kafr Manda, northern Israel (Haaretz)