With the unceasing reprisal attacks between Jews and Palestinians, Israelis are understandably wary of suspicious activities and persons in their midst. Israel’s security personnel are more vigilant and poised to preemptively respond to potential threats to protect citizens.
The paranoia and readiness, however, posed inconveniences. On 10 May, the flight to Istanbul, Turkey of an AnadoluJet passenger plane at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv was disrupted.
Police stopped the plane from taking off and nine passengers were questioned before they were removed from the flight. The nine passengers were suspected to be terrorists based on photos they shared with others aboard through their smartphones.
The images of plane crashes they shared using the iPhone app AirDrop, which is similar to the function of a ShareIt app on Android phones, apparently caused panic, the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) said, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The plane safely took off several hours later.
More disruptive was a false alarm at the same airport on 28 April.
Baggage check-in area inspectors found a dangerous item inside the luggage of an American family that toured Israel.
Airport security immediately ordered an evacuation causing panic in the departures hall. In a video posted on social media, passengers were seen running in all directions, AFP reported.
One traveler was injured in the rush and was hospitalized.
The item that caused all the commotion was a piece of souvenir inside the luggage of one of the family’s children, picked up from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Syrian territory was the scene of intense fighting between troops of Israel and Syria in 1967 and 1973.