Three Arab-Israeli women are suing El Al and Arkia Israeli Airlines after they received humiliating treatment at airport security checks, Haaretz reported.
According to the suit filed at the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court the women were separated from other Israeli customers and forced to undress for body searches. Their mobile phones were searched and they were placed under security guard for the remainder of their time at the airport, the claim states.
They are seeking $102,000 in compensation.
We made it clear from the beginning that we weren't objecting to a security check as any other passenger at the airport [would undergo], but here it was clear that this was a search meant to humiliate – both because we are Arab and also because we are women. I heard the security officer say explicitly that if we don't undress, we won't get on flight
one of the women told Haaretz on condition of anonymity.
The women were due to board a flight from the Serbia capital, Belgrade, to Tel Aviv in October 2016. Though they did board the plane, they were made to board separately and their luggage arrived 12 days later.
Arkia commented that by virtue of government resolution, El Al provides security services to all Israeli aviation companies; "Arkia is not involved in these processes", Haaretz reported.
El Al said it would study the lawsuit and respond in court.