THE MIDDLE EAST & EUROPEAN SERIES PT4
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Today started of like most of them; casually minding my own business at checkin waiting for my flight to Israel. However, I did notice an additional member of staff before the check in desks.
WHERE IS TEL AVIV, ISRAEL?
Interrogated & strip searched in Israel
However, I thought nothing of it, maybe it was to double check luggage, who knows. That was until it was my turn.
Again being asked for your passport at this stage is nothing new, but he seemed to pay considerable attention to it. Normally a quick look is all that is required.
“Why were you in Qatar?”
“Holiday” I answered
Which is the answer to why any of those stamps are in my passport. But he didn’t seem to care for that answer and thus signalled the beginning of the interrogation. The same questions were thrown at me about each and every Arab country that stamped my passport and again I answered holiday.
HE WASN’T HAVING IT
I then tried to talk to him which ended up being a bad move but I at least wanted to point out I was travelling the world, not for small chat of course. Again not matter how I answered he didn’t seem interested and as the queue behind me started to disappear I wondered if I would be getting on this flight. I wasn’t aware of the political reasoning behind it at this stage so you couldn’t understand my bewilderment.
STAGE 1 COMPLETE
Eventually after shutting up he put and sticker on my passport and allowed me to check in. Great, I’m in, or so I thought! After checking in I was told to keep my hold luggage and it would be taken off me at the gate, strange. Anyway I got all the way to the gate (which was chaotic) and waited for boarding to begin, which didn’t take long as I had spent so long answering his questions.
Moving to boarding the man took my passport and boarding pass and immediately looked for something
“the fu*king sticker,” I thought. What does he want with me now
I was led to a room which was within the gate. You could actually walk around it but it had a mesh ceiling which completely threw me. Anyway I was invited in and having learnt my lesson at check in I only spoke when I was spoken to.
This was a bizarre experience and I was given no clue as to what it was for. The room had 2 small cubicles, 2 x-ray machines and 2 officers.
“I need your photo, laptop and wallet please.”
These were all put through the scanner and my hold and carry on bags were hand searched. They were never going to find anything of note but they put a few items through the scanner.
The final thing to be searched was myself. I was asked the stand, take off my t shirt and put my shorts down, nice. After a quick search to make sure I wasn’t hiding anything in my underwear I was finally given the green light. I wasn’t sure whether to let out a sigh of relief or if this was just the beginning. I remember expecting stage 3 on arrival but I didn’t have any problems apart from noticing one of my t shirts had gone missing from my bag.
Politically, Israel has huge issues with some of its neighbours. I wasn’t aware of any of this at the time and the more I learn about it the more I feel the issue lies with themselves and not the others.
A tour of Israel and Jerusalem, a divided city! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
This post is part of The Middle East & European Series, click to explore or for episode 1 click here.
- Have you been to Israel, were you question or searched?
- What is the worst experience you’ve had in an airport?
Let me know in the comments below . . .