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Syrians Camp out at Ben-gurion Airport

January 13, 1998
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Despite the lack of diplomatic relations, a group of Syrians was treated to some Israeli hospitality this week.

Israeli Army Radio reported that the Syrians were on an El Al flight from Amman, Jordan, to Amsterdam over the weekend when airline officials discovered that the travelers had failed to arrange entry visas to Holland. Despite El Al’s request, Holland refused to accept them.

With no other connecting flight, the Syrians had to spend the night at Ben- Gurion Airport.

An airport official said the airline arranged for food and mattresses to be brought to the travelers. They were flown back to Amman the next day on a charter flight arranged by El Al.

Asked about the unusual passenger list, El Al officials said that since the airline began flights to and from Amman, citizens of the entire region were taking advantage of the route to catch connecting flights to other destinations. The airline said its policy is not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of ethnic, religious or national identity.

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