Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Colored tags for Arabs' luggage at Ben Gurion airport discontinued"

Published in "Ha'aretz"
August 7, 2007

On the Web at:

By Zohar Blumenkrantz and Yoav Stern, Ha'aretz Correspondents

""Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz announced on Tuesday that Ben Gurion International Airport security would no longer mark the luggage belonging to non-Jews with colored tags, in order to spare these passengers embarrassment.

"Instead, Mofaz explained, the luggage of non-Jewish passengers will be stamped with the same color sticker as the Jewish passengers, only with a different number. In the past, the color of the sticker on the passenger's luggage would indicate to airport security personnel the level of security check they must administer.

"This practice mainly affected Arab passengers...

"...Though the colored stickers have been discontinued since the beginning of August, the luggage belonging to Arab passengers still undergoes a more thorough security check than that of Jews. The Arabs' luggage is sent to an X-ray scanner with higher resolution...

However, an Arab resident of Nazareth who frequently flies out of Ben Gurion airport said he had no trouble at all identifying the marked luggage. 'This is the exact same system, with a slight change in stickers. In the past, an Arab passenger would receive a red sticker, and now the Arab passenger receives a sticker with the number 5 on it,' the man explained..."


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