Israelis living abroad riot at airport over travel restrictions

Staff tells passengers to wait 24 hours before boarding, despite respective flights being hours away, causing much anger and frustration; all allowed to leave after signing paper, ensuring they will not return to Israel within 3 months

Roi Rubinstein|
A riot broke out at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Wednesday, after dozens of Israelis living in so-called “red” states found themselves unable to leave the country due to Israel’s stringent COVID-induced travel restrictions.
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  • Israel’s “red” states list - which effectively bans all travel to dozens of countries where a spike in COVID cases has been noted - has been growing on a daily basis due to the rapid spread of the recently discovered Omicron variant throughout the world.
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    ישראלים בנתב"ג מגישים בקשות לאישורים חריגים ליציאה מהארץ
    ישראלים בנתב"ג מגישים בקשות לאישורים חריגים ליציאה מהארץ
    Israelis in Ben Gurion airport attempting to leave the country amid the restrictions
    (Photo: Avi Hai)
    According to those who found themselves stranded in Ben Gurion Airport, the riot started after they were made aware that they must fill in and submit a brand new online form and then wait no less than 24 hours until it is processed - despite their flights being mere hours away.
    “The Public Security Ministry wants us to fill out an online form in Hebrew only and we are not given an answer,” said Dimitri Kiblansky, a resident of Canada who found himself unable to board his flight home.
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    ישראלים בנתב"ג לא מצליחים לצאת מהארץ בעקבות הגבלות הקורונה
    ישראלים בנתב"ג לא מצליחים לצאת מהארץ בעקבות הגבלות הקורונה
    Dimitri Kiblansky at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: Avi Hai)
    “We are stuck here because of this country that does not let people go home. Israel is not my home, it's the last plane to Canada. How are we going to get home now?”
    “If I have to give up my Israeli passport, I will give it up now. There is no respect for human beings here,” added Kiblansky.
    Sonia Shaked, who lives in the United States, also found herself stranded at Ben Gurion Airport.
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    תורים בנתב"ג
    תורים בנתב"ג
    People wiating for their flight at ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: AFP)
    “[Prime Minister Naftali Bennett] if I leave the country and do not return, know that it is because of you…It is simply impudent what you are doing to people here, it's nothing short of abuse,” said Shaked.
    Kiblansky and Shaked, as well as the dozen of others stranded, were finally able to board their flight after signing a document stating that they were residents of their respective destination, and that they will not return to Israel for at least three months.

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