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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich called on his counterparts at three other government ministries Sunday to take a "firm hand" against illegal radio broadcasts, which have been blamed for disrupting communications at Ben-Gurion Airport and causing multiple near-collisions between aircraft in recent months.
His statement followed threats by representatives of several foreign airlines that they would consider discontinuing service to Israel if the issue wasn't solved.
In his letter to Communications Minister Ariel Attias, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, Aharonovich likened the situation to that of "a Third World country," calling it "inconceivable" that the government hasn't cracked down on the illegal radio broadcasts. In addition to "endangering human lives," the government's inaction on the issue could have potentially "severe" effects on the country's tourism industry, Aharonovich wrote, calling for a coordinated effort between the ministers to eliminate the pirate broadcasts.