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February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
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Airport Customs Inspectors Block Gateway to Israel – Literally

Histadrut Labor Federation chairman Ofer Eini (L) and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz meet at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem

Histadrut Labor Federation chairman Ofer Eini (L) and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz meet at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / Flash90

Customs inspectors on strike as part of a nationwide walkout yesterday, barricaded with wooden tables the “green path,” where most passengers usually push their belongings through without being challenged. Not yesterday.

Every passenger was stopped and every suitcase opened and searched carefully, as part of the effort to obstruct the normally smooth process of entry into Israel.

Israel’s Airport Authority  condemned this behavior, saying “customs employees are showing contempt for a clear decision of the Labor Relations Court, and initiated an ‘Italian Strike’ intended to slow the pace of passenger entry.”

The court yesterday exempted Ben Gurion Airport from the strike after 12 noon.

As soon as the strike came to a halt, at noon, Wednesday, all other Airport Authority services kicked in at full pace, with 44 incoming and 47 outgoing flights.

But as Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz are preparing to announce the end of the strike, delays have not gone beyond pre-holiday times, as many passengers have cancelled or pushed off their flights.

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


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