Arab Sector Heads Plan Boycott of El Al Over 'Harassing' Security Probes

Rights council calls on Jordan to avoid cooperation with Israel in investigating local Arab organizations.

The leaders of the Arab sector on Tuesday announced plans to boycott El Al Airlines to protest the company's "harassment" and "interrogation" of Arab passengers at airports and border crossings.

At this stage, the protest will be carried out only by members of Arab institutions, though it is likely that others from the Arab sector will be called to join. The boycott was announced Tuesday by Amir Mahool, chairman of the national council for the protection of freedom.

Many Arab citizens have complained about intensive security checks they are forced to undergo at the airport, which can include humiliating questions and separation from the other passengers.

The council, which for the last years has been associated with the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, has recently separated to become an independently active association.

The council was initially formed a few years ago as a body of support for Sheikh Ra'ad Salah and the Islamic Movement. The group comprises representatives from various political parties and movements, and acts to ensure the freedom of Arab bodies and personalities "being politically persecuted by Israel and its mechanisms of oppression."

The council has also called on Jordan to avoid cooperation with Israeli security services. According to Mahool, when Arab organizations in Israel are under investigation, Jordan conducts parallel probes of groups associated with these organizations.