Greece: El Al flight delayed by protest

Protest against Gaza policies blocks check-in counters in Athens.

el al protest 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
el al protest 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
An El Al flight bound for Israel from Athens, Greece was delayed for about two hours at Athens International Airport Wednesday after protesters against the blockade of Gaza blocked check-in counters, airport officials said.
Members of a Communist-backed labor union said they blocked five El Al airline counters for two hours to protest the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the Jewish state's "oppressive policies."
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"This was an action taken in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their effort to establish a Palestinian state," union spokesman Giorgos Pontikos told the AP.
He said police were present at the protest but did not intervene.
El Al representatives decided to stop check-in efforts for the flight yet once the protest ended, check-in procedures continued.
Athens airport officials said El Al flight 542 to Tel Aviv, on an Boeing 737 airplane departed from Athens two hours after the scheduled time, at 12:30 (0930GMT), with 99 passengers, after the protest ended without incident.
El Al released a statement saying that the flight and passenger's security is the company's utmost priority which would not be comprised in any situation. The airline stressed that at no point were passengers at risk of harm.