'Free Gaza’ Graffiti Found in Cargo Bay of Lufthansa Flight to Tel Aviv

German airline is investigating incident after Israel Airports Authority and Ben Gurion airport lodged complaints.

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Lufthansa aircraft in Frankfurt, April 2014.
Lufthansa aircraft in Frankfurt, April 2014.Credit: Reuters

The slogan “Free Gaza” was found graffitied in the cargo bay of a Lufthansa flight that landed early Thursday morning at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Israel Airports Authority and Ben-Gurion airport director Shmuel Zakai sent official complaints to the German airline’s management, which is investigating the incident.

Lufthansa’s scheduled flight from Frankfort to Tel Aviv made a stop in Athens at 1 A.M. for a crew change. Since the start of Operation Protective Edge in July, the German airline has stopped lodging its crew members at hotels in Israel due to concerns about rocket fire. The passengers remained on the plane.

After the plane landed in Israel at 4 A.M., the slogan was discovered on a net in cargo bay 5, in the belly of the plane. The crew members, who have been questioned in Israel, have testified that they don’t know when and where the graffiti was written.

Lufthansa’s office in Israel responded: “The management of the company in Germany was immediately informed of the details of the incident, and a comprehensive investigation is underway to find out who is responsible for this unacceptable act and to punish him. Lufthansa vehemently condemns and deplores the incident, and is working together with the relevant authorities to bring the person responsible to justice.”

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