Israeli man removed from plane after demanding to be seated near his son
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Israeli man removed from plane after demanding to be seated near his son

Flight from Sicily to Tel Aviv was reportedly approaching takeoff when staff decided to go back and call police; eyewitness says issue could have been easily resolved

An Israeli man being removed from a flight by Sicily police after he demanded to be seated near his son, in undated footage released on October 21, 2019. (Screenshot: Facebook)
An Israeli man being removed from a flight by Sicily police after he demanded to be seated near his son, in undated footage released on October 21, 2019. (Screenshot: Facebook)

An Israeli man was removed from a flight from Sicily to Israel, reportedly because he wanted his son to be seated near him.

The flight by Czech airline Smartwings was about to take off from the Italian island’s airport when plane staff decided to go back to the gate and call for police after the man refused to sit quietly until after takeoff, according to an eyewitness cited in a report Monday by Channel 12.

Footage from the plane showed the man being removed from the flight by policemen, separating him from his family.

The report did not say when the incident occurred.

תיעוד: ישראלי הורד בכוח מהטיסה מאיטליה לישראל

תיעוד: ישראלי הורד בכוח מהטיסה מאיטליה לישראל אחרי שהתעקש לשבת ליד בנו >> http://bit.ly/2N303d1Yosi Mizrachi

פורסם על ידי ‏החדשות‏ ב- יום שני, 21 באוקטובר 2019

The Israeli family — a father, mother and three children — was seated each in a separate row, and the father was told that would be taken care of once passengers were on the plane, the report said.

Asaf Sela, the eyewitness, said there was a vacant seat in the row before the father, adding that “they could have solved it in one and a half seconds.”

The father became animated when the plane was approaching takeoff and demanded that a stewardess take care of the seating issue before takeoff.

“She told him: ‘If you don’t sit quietly until we take off, I will tell the captain and we will take you off the plane.’ She then stopped everything and went to the captain, who didn’t even come out [of the cockpit],” Sela said.

“They returned the plane and brought in five cops,” he added. “His wife started to cry and he was taken off the flight.”

Israeli airline Arkia, which marketed the flight to Israelis, did not immediately comment on the incident.

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