Security guard pepper-sprayed Druze soldier’s family at Ben Gurion airport
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Security guard pepper-sprayed Druze soldier’s family at Ben Gurion airport

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Airports Authority said that it will fire a security guard who pepper-sprayed a Druze family, including an IDF serviceman, at the entrance to Ben Gurion Airport.

Roni Aboud, from the village of Daliyat al Carmel, told Haaretz that a guard stopped his family  and asked the driver for his ID. When his nephew showed his army ID, the guard demanded they present their passports.

As the situation escalated. the guard threatened to use his pepper spray, and then did so.

“I didn’t raise a hand, I didn’t do anything illegal,” said Aboud. “We know the law, know the regulations.”

According to Aboud, the other guards “all stood on the side and didn’t help” and spoke to his family as though they were in the country illegally.

“We’re Israelis and we were hurt and humiliated in such an extraordinary way,” he said. “We feel as though we are not even citizens. I can’t believe that we served in the army.”

Earlier this month, tens of thousands of Druze citizens rallied against the recently passed nation-state law, which specifies the Jewish nature of Israel. The law identifies Arabic as a language with “special status.”

In April, the daughter of Meretz MK Esawi Freige, an Arab Israeli, claimed to have been forced her to go through a security check naked and announced that she planned on suing the Israel Airports Authority.

The Attorney General’s Office in Israel is currently investigating a spate of incidents in which prominent left-wing activists have been detained and questioned about their politics and ideologies when trying to enter the country. A number of prominent figures, including journalist Peter Beinart and writer Reza Aslan, have complained of harassment at the border.