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The head of security operations for El Al Airlines, which handles ground security for all Israeli carriers, informed the airlines that starting next week they might have to cancel flights for lack of personnel to handle security at foreign airports. He warned that the problem could grow worse during the Passover holidays and the summer when air traffic peaks.
The shortage of Israelis working abroad temporarily in security jobs emerged over the last two weeks. The treasury and Histadrut labor federation agreed to terms two weeks ago for improving pay for the security personnel, who also handle security at Israeli embassies.
But shortly afterwards the Foreign Ministry, which is responsible for the hundreds of security personnel, said it couldnt cover the extra costs.
As it is, the surge in air travel to and from Israel has created a shortage of security personnel, which disrupted flights over Passover last year. About 80 people who have completed the security course cant take assignments for lack of a budget and 60 more graduates are about to join them, the head of El Als security said.