Panic erupted at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday after a U.S. family attempted to take an unexploded bomb through security and onto a plane as a souvenir.
Video shared on social media showed members of the public fleeing the main airport terminal shortly after the alarm was raised. Authorities eventually gave the unexploded ordinance the all-clear and passengers were allowed back into the airport.
The family had been on holiday in Israel and visited the Golan Heights as part of their trip. Golan is a 1,800 square kilometre area that sits in the northeast corner of Israel. The area was seized from Syria in 1967 during the Six-Day War and remnants of the conflict still exist to this day.
During their visit to Golan, a member of the family found an intact and unexploded shell from the conflict and apparently decided to try and take it home to the United States as a souvenir.
On arrival at the Tel Aviv airport, the family showed the shell to officers at the security checkpoint which in turn led to a full-scale emergency response.
Surprisingly, after the initial chaos subdued, the family were given the all-clear and allowed to board their return flight to the U.S. without any further action being taken.
Ben Gurion airport is considered to have some of the most sophisticated security systems in place in the world to protect passengers and aircraft from terrorist attack.
In recent years, the physical screening of bags and passengers has become less intense but Israel has been criticised for its other security methods which include profiling passengers based on a variety of factors which can include their religion.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.