Family’s Bomb Souvenir Causes Israel Airport Panic

Family’s Bomb Souvenir Causes Israel Airport Panic

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As reported by BBC, utter chaos erupted last night at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) over an American family’s souvenir…

Unexploded artillery shell chaos at Tel Aviv Airport

On Thursday evening an American family tried to fly out of Tel Aviv Airport with an unexploded artillery shell, which they had picked up while touring Golan Heights (the site of war between Israel and Syria).

Israel is known for its incredibly tight airport security checks. According to reports, a member of the family removed the shell from a backpack, and asked a security official if it could be placed in the suitcase and checked.

The security official at this point ordered the immediate area to be cleared, but another passenger misunderstood what was said, and started shouting “terrorists shooting,” which caused mass panic.

There’s video footage on Twitter where you can see utter panic in the check-in hall, with some people running, and others lying on the floor. You really have to watch the video to appreciate the level of panic that there was in the terminal.

One man even got injured and had to be hospitalized. He feared someone was shooting bullets, so he ran toward check-in and then stumbled on a conveyor belt and “flew a distance of six meters.”

Interestingly despite this incident, the family ended up being allowed to board their flight to the United States.

Who is to blame for the incident?

It’s not every day that you see Tel Aviv Airport having a full-on episode where people are fearing for their lives. It seems like there were several people making bad decisions that caused this incident to unfold the way it did:

  • Did the family really have to take an unexploded artillery shell from Golan Heights home with them? I’m not an expert on this kind of stuff, but trying to take something like this to an airport seems totally wild to me, but maybe I’m off base…
  • On the plus side, at least they disclosed it, so it sounds like maybe the security official should have communicated to other passengers more clearly about what the situation was, so as not to cause panic
  • Really what caused panic was a passenger yelling “terrorist shooting,” because that’s what they thought they heard the security official saying; this situation likely wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for that person, but then again, they were obviously just terrified and misunderstood the situation

Bottom line

Ben Gurion Airport had a major incident on Thursday evening, when an American family tried to fly home with an unexploded artillery shell that they got in Golan Heights. A security official tried to clear the area, and someone misunderstood that there was an act of terrorism, leading to mayhem.

Despite the incident, the family was allowed to fly home as scheduled…

What do you make of this Ben Gurion Airport scare?

Conversations (44)
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  1. Matt Guest

    I was there and it was scary, but I never heard any announcement unless it was in hebrew.

  2. MoJoe Gold

    This story is the perfect intersection between astounding and hilarious. SMH.

    Maybe security should have asked the family to wait in an isolated room and given the children the artillery shell along with a hammer to play with. Old Bugs Bunny and Road Runner/Coyote cartoons come to mind.

  3. Aldyzest Guest

    2 words Florida man

    5 words : American is something else no?

  4. glenn t Diamond

    Are Americans just becoming dumber and dumber, or is it that more stories are getting picked up?
    My gut tells me (screams actually) that it's the former!

    1. Arie Guest

      Americans are not getting dumber.

      Dumb has no nationality, race, colour, or religion. Dumb is dumb and it exists in every country.

  5. Alisha Guest

    That would look awesome on the mantle above my fireplace.

  6. Creditcrunch Gold

    Pictures now emerging of the shell, it’s huge!!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-61267265

  7. snic Guest

    Man, does this ever give American tourists a bad name.

    1. P.D. Guest

      "The Ugly American" tourist has been around for decades...it's enough to swear yourself Canadian.

  8. Donato Guest

    @Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
    Israel is a Country that has been attacked many times by Moslem Arab terrorists. They do their security procedures and decisions in the most fair way that does not endanger civilians. I had my electronic devices almost destroyed because I lied to them regarding part of my visit which triggered concerns.

    In my opinion, nobody that lives in Israel (regardless of religion) would be stupid enough to cause this fiasco. full stop.

    1. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

      Religion wasn’t mentioned in my comment, nor was it mentioned in Ben’s article.

      I’m amazed that the American family were allowed onto their scheduled plane, without even being delayed for further questioning and investigations about what else they may have thought was a good idea in the preceding days. If they were Palestinian, they would still be in a maximum security jail, with little/no prospect of being released anytime soon, that’s if they hadn’t already...

      Religion wasn’t mentioned in my comment, nor was it mentioned in Ben’s article.

      I’m amazed that the American family were allowed onto their scheduled plane, without even being delayed for further questioning and investigations about what else they may have thought was a good idea in the preceding days. If they were Palestinian, they would still be in a maximum security jail, with little/no prospect of being released anytime soon, that’s if they hadn’t already been shot at.

      It’s just another example of “privilege” based on nationality, which I think is worth noting, “full stop”.

      Just out of interest, which countries’ residents do you think would actually be stupid enough to cause this fiasco? (Other than America, obviously…)

    2. Tal Guest

      I’m sorry to say but I assume you never been to Israel and never seen how Palestinians are treated in Israel.
      They are treated equally to Israeli citizens.
      I have many Palestinian and Israeli Arab friends and they all fly to and from Israel, and everyone is being treated the same.
      I suggest you go to Tel Aviv and Jaffa and see how coexistence looks like off of the major news sites....

      I’m sorry to say but I assume you never been to Israel and never seen how Palestinians are treated in Israel.
      They are treated equally to Israeli citizens.
      I have many Palestinian and Israeli Arab friends and they all fly to and from Israel, and everyone is being treated the same.
      I suggest you go to Tel Aviv and Jaffa and see how coexistence looks like off of the major news sites. Those sites and social media don’t show the real story. I’m sure Ben can say the same after being in Israel and loving it.

    3. Arie Guest

      Tal, I'm an Israeli and I have to disagree. Palestinians are not treated equally, they are outcasts of society and in law. Israeli arabs are treated slightly better in that they are allowed to vote in elections but have a fraction of the services that jewish Israelis have, and are not even allowed to build new home or neighborhoods.

      Israeli law, for better or worse, yteats jewish people differently than all others, not only...

      Tal, I'm an Israeli and I have to disagree. Palestinians are not treated equally, they are outcasts of society and in law. Israeli arabs are treated slightly better in that they are allowed to vote in elections but have a fraction of the services that jewish Israelis have, and are not even allowed to build new home or neighborhoods.

      Israeli law, for better or worse, yteats jewish people differently than all others, not only muslims but also Christians.

      Even within jewish populations there is a wide gap. That is our reality.

    4. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

      Oh and btw if you were Palestinian and lied about your trip, your electronic devices wouldn’t be “almost” destroyed…

    5. Donato Guest

      Do you speak of experience? Have you ever travelled through Israel or are basing your(borderline anti Israel) comments simply based on prevailing assumptions?

      I am a proud American citizen. Nevertheless, my comments should be interpreted as not impressed by American tourists judgement and behavior when travelling. I have been travelling for decades and my first experience was a train stopping in Den Hague. The American College Professor (from California) was impressed by the size and...

      Do you speak of experience? Have you ever travelled through Israel or are basing your(borderline anti Israel) comments simply based on prevailing assumptions?

      I am a proud American citizen. Nevertheless, my comments should be interpreted as not impressed by American tourists judgement and behavior when travelling. I have been travelling for decades and my first experience was a train stopping in Den Hague. The American College Professor (from California) was impressed by the size and traffic but insisted it was not the Capitol. His guide book listed "The Hague" as the Capitol instead.

  9. Donato Guest

    Is it known that this was a full unexploded shell? I had understood it was a fragment.

  10. Brian L. Guest

    To quote the great Ron White, "You can't fix stupid."

  11. ORDCS Guest

    Just a Public Service Announcement

    1. Don't buy a bomb as a souvenir 2. Do not take it to the airport and 3. You can not check in it or take it as a carry on - especially at the #1 most secured airport in the world ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️

    Also ... where do you buy a bomb as a souvenir ?? Like .. what type of store would be selling one ?? ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️

    And then why would you buy one ??

    1. East2West Member

      I don’t see it mentioned they purchased one. When I read it I thought they just picked it off the ground in the Golan Heights

    2. ben senise Guest

      where have you seen that they bought it? the articles i have found mention that they picked it up. i interpret picking something up to mean that it was on the ground and they literally lifted it and took it.
      i doubt any souvenir shop in israel of all places would be selling this kind of thing.
      i find it beyond belief that anyone would pick up an artillery shell that hadn't exploded...

      where have you seen that they bought it? the articles i have found mention that they picked it up. i interpret picking something up to mean that it was on the ground and they literally lifted it and took it.
      i doubt any souvenir shop in israel of all places would be selling this kind of thing.
      i find it beyond belief that anyone would pick up an artillery shell that hadn't exploded *YET* and second, how anyone could carry it with them, especially on a plane. don't people realize that this is a weapon that is used to destroy things and kill people???
      the news shocks me on a daily basis but this takes it to a whole new level.

  12. Andrew Guest

    It is extremely dumb to pick up an unexploded shell period! An unexploded shell can become an exploded shell, and you definitely don't want to be holding it (or even near it) when it does.

  13. Creditcrunch Gold

    It still amazes me that even with the threat of active shooters people didn’t leave their luggage and run and find shelter.

    1. Aaron Guest

      Even more that their reaction is "Cool I'm going to whip out my phone and start filming now"

    2. David Diamond

      Once in a lifetime opportunity (pun intended).

  14. Al Guest

    @lucky you are not off base. there is no reason why they needed to take home an unexploded artillery shell. Why anyone would think it's a good idea to bring an unexploded shell through any airport, no less an Israeli one, is mind blowing.

  15. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

    Bet it would’ve ended differently if it was a Palestinian family doing the same thing

    1. Mark Guest

      Do you know if they were Jewish Moslem or Christian to declare such a dumb statement?

    2. Arie Guest

      40 percent of Palestinians are Christian. And they would have been more thoroughly searched before setting foot at the airport terminal.

      Truth is that if they were Palestinians they would not have been allowed to go to the Golan heights where these tourists went and if they did they would have been arrested (best case scenario)

      So no, that wasnt a dumb statement, just a reflection of reality

    3. East2West Member

      Yeah not a dumb statement. It’s reality there. They would have been treated very differently

    4. Abraham Z Wolf Guest

      This is exactly what anti-Israel bias is.

  16. BookLvr Member

    Dozens and dozens of souvenir shops, and they decide to take home unexploded ordnance? Is there something wrong with postcards, t-shirts, jewelry, kitschy miniatures of landmarks, and books?

    Even aside from the danger of handling such an object (!) and taking it on a plane (!!!), what a weird thing for tourists to want to show off to friends and neighbors. It's hardly showing off the best aspects of the country you just visited.

  17. shoeguy Guest

    Idiots. Ban them from flying for a decade.

  18. John Guest

    Unlike Lucky, I'm not cutting them any slack whatsoever simply because that dumb American tourist showed it to security. How could anyone of even middling intelligence think unexploded ordnance and planes go together!? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb and dumber.

  19. Hudute Guest

    I am actually surprised that that family didn't blow themselves up beforehand. Handling unexploded ordinance is extremely dangerous. You just don't know what is going in that shell, especially when the Munition is getting older.

    1. JP Guest

      In life...luck goes a long way in keeping very dumb and dense people alive. It even has the power to place several people as presidents across the world.

    2. ugoren New Member

      Not surprising at all, it hasn't exploded for 50 years, why explode now?
      It certainly could explode, and it's really foolish and dangerous to assume that it won't, but the likely outcome is that it won't.

    3. David Diamond

      Because it has aged and is now being moved (and very aggressively, given how hard baggage handlers toss bags).

  20. Alonzo Diamond

    Just shows how dumb people are still trying to wheel around their luggage and run lmao. Leave that sh*t behind.

  21. Bruce Guest

    Why would anyone try and take an unexplored artillery shell home with them??? The terrorist panic created by America’s stupid rhetoric inevitably leads to dumb passengers having a mental breakdown and fabricating situations of terrorists shooting. Peak of human race stupidity. And that guy who ran on the conveyor belt. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. What have we come to.

    1. ugoren New Member

      The idea that terrorists could be shooting in TLV isn't the result of American rhetoric.
      It has happened in the past.
      There are many people who would love to see it happen again.
      Terrorism is real, and it's scary.

    2. stogieguy7 Diamond

      Well, 81,000,000 of us supposedly voted a senile old man into office as president to ruin the economy and embolden tyrants. So yes, Americans are stupid.

    3. Icarus Guest

      You mean the imbeciles who voted for trump and still believe he won. And Marjorie Taylor Green .. lol

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Al Guest

@lucky you are not off base. there is no reason why they needed to take home an unexploded artillery shell. Why anyone would think it's a good idea to bring an unexploded shell through any airport, no less an Israeli one, is mind blowing.

7
John Guest

Unlike Lucky, I'm not cutting them any slack whatsoever simply because that dumb American tourist showed it to security. How could anyone of even middling intelligence think unexploded ordnance and planes go together!? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb and dumber.

5
Andrew Guest

It is extremely dumb to pick up an unexploded shell period! An unexploded shell can become an exploded shell, and you definitely don't want to be holding it (or even near it) when it does.

3
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