PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on Wednesday slammed Aegean, the largest Greek airline, for discrimination against two Palestinian passengers who were removed from flight due to Israeli demands.
“We are outraged by how two Palestinians were treated with discrimination and prejudice at the hands of the AEGEAN cabin crew prior to the departure of last Sunday’s flight from Athens to Tel Aviv.” Erekat said.
According to Haaretz, Israeli passengers persistently complained that the Palestinians “constituted a security risk,” and prevented the flight from taking off by standing in the aisles.
The two Palestinians, reportedly living in Israel, acceded to crew requests that they disembark, in return for a hotel room and compensation.
“The Greek Security affirmed that the plane was secure, but confirmed reports said the crew succumbed to pressure from Israeli passengers who stood up and did not allow the flight to depart without the removal of the two Palestinian passengers,” Erekat said.
In an official statement, Erekat condemned the decision as “unjust and disgraceful,” calling upon the Greek government to take strong action against this racist act, including compensation for the two Palestinian passengers.
“This appalling behavior by the Israeli passengers is reminiscent of the worst years of the South African Apartheid, which is not different than the policies carried out by the Israeli government against Palestinians under the pretext of “security.”