An unidentified man managed to slip unnoticed into the baggage compartment of an El-Al plane and write the racist epithet “death to the Jews” in Arabic on the cargo hold.
The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday that the racist message was discovered as the plane’s cargo was being unloaded at Milan’s Malpensa Airport in Italy. Italian security personnel swept the plane and surrounding areas in order to ensure the no explosives were smuggled on board the aircraft.
“Security personnel guarded the El Al counter; some of them appeared to belong to elite units,” an Israeli passenger told Ynet. “Snipers were positioned above the security checkpoints. The passengers had no idea what was going on, and we learned of the drama only after reading the paper the following morning.”
Sources in Milan told Yedioth Ahronoth that it was highly likely that the hate slogans were scribbled on the plane prior to its departure from Israel.
“There are no Arab-speaking employees at the Milan airport who may have had access to the plane,” one source said.
The incident marks the second time in which an El Al plane was delayed in Milan due to anti-Semitic slogans that were scrawled on it.
El Al refused to comment on the incident.