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Heathrow staff’s ‘Palestine’ badges show they speak Arabic, per report

A Jewish passenger had questioned why staff members were permitted to wear PLO flag insignia despite regulations banning the wearing of religious or political items.

Australian officials help passengers at Heathrow in London as they are repatriated from Israel, Oct. 17, 2023. Photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images.
Australian officials help passengers at Heathrow in London as they are repatriated from Israel, Oct. 17, 2023. Photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images.

Staff at London’s Heathrow airport are allowed to wear “Palestine” flag badges to indicate that they speak Arabic, British media reported on Saturday.

A Jewish traveler who was subjected to a second security check at the airport on May 26 by an employee wearing a Palestine flag badge had asked for clarification given that Heathrow staff are not permitted to wear political or religious items, according to The Telegraph.

The traveler was told that the badge did not violate regulations as its purpose was to “indicate an employee speaks a particular language or dialect from a certain region,” according to the report.

The news comes as an investigation is underway into the harassment of Israeli passengers arriving in the United Kingdom.

Last month, two Israeli passengers described being harassed and subjected to degrading treatment at the biggest U.K. airport because of their religion, according to U.K. Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), which filed a complaint with the Home Office that led to the opening of the investigation.

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