Palestinian official slams treatment of Arab passengers

AP News
Posted: Jan 06, 2016 2:46 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian official criticized on Wednesday the treatment of two Arab passengers who disembarked from an Israel-bound flight after other travelers complained of security concerns.

The two passengers agreed to take a later flight from Athens after passengers "persistently and vocally complained" and demanded additional security checks, according to the Greek Aegean Airlines.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said the passengers were treated with "discrimination and prejudice" and called upon the Greek government to compensate the passengers. A letter by the airline's CEO, Dimitris Gerogiannis, to Erekat later Wednesday said the airline regretted the "unprecedented" incident.

A passenger on the flight identified only as Nissim told Israeli Army Radio that one passenger appeared suspicious. He said no one cited the passengers' ethnicity as a reason for their concerns and said "no one was racist."

Aegean, who identified the Arab passengers as Israeli, called the incident "unfortunate" and thanked the two passengers for their cooperation. The incident took place Sunday.