July 1, 2022

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Bedlam at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport after passengers crossed with an unexploded ordnance

Bedlam at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport after passengers crossed with an unexploded ordnance

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A family of American tourists caused chaos at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday when they tried to pass through security with an unexploded ordnance they found while touring the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

A video of the scene showed travelers running for safety and avoiding behind luggage and tables, while parents frantically yelled at their children. The state of Israel’s perpetual readiness to attack was displayed as dozens of people immediately took to a crouched position on the floor of the departure hall.

There was no explosion, but a 32-year-old man was hospitalized with injuries sustained when he tried to run along the baggage conveyor belt, according to the Israel Airports Authority.

Reportedly, the incident began when security monitors found a suspicious object in the family’s luggage and identified it as an unexploded ordnance. Officials immediately proceeded with the evacuation procedure, causing panic throughout the building.

The family told agents that one of their children had found the object while they were sightseeing in the Golan Heights, a mountainous area 95 miles northeast of Jerusalem — and 50 miles from Damascus — that Israel captured from Syria in 1967. The family said they were taking it home, the family said. As a souvenir – unaware of its dangerous nature, according to local media.

Security officials canceled the eviction orders after questioning the family. They were allowed to board the plane.

The device, presumably a relic of the fighting with Syria in 1967 or 1973, is one of several incidents of unexploded ordnance that have been discovered in an area where locals are known to be careful when moving away from known paths.

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Demining continues in many places along the war-torn Israeli, Syrian and Lebanese borders. And in January, the Israeli army detonated hundreds of munitions from a 45-year-old Syrian weapons cache recently discovered in the Golan.

The removal of explosives is part of Israel’s efforts to promote population growth and tourism in the region’s rich valleys and open fields. Last year the government announced plans to double the number of Israelis living in the Golan 300 million dollars investment in housing and infrastructure.

Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 despite Syria’s continued claims to the area. No country respected Israel’s sovereignty over the region, not even President Donald Trump Officially recognized Golan Heights As part of Israel in 2019.