Thousands Have Luggage Broken Open in Ben-Gurion Security Checks

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) —
Arrivals at Ben Gurion Airport. (Hadas Parush/Flash 90)
Arrivals at Ben Gurion Airport. (Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

Some 22,000 passengers have had their luggage broken open during security checks at Ben Gurion Airport in the past few weeks, since a new automated baggage screening (HBS) system was installed, Globes reports.

Suspicious luggage in the initial screening is opened, for higher resolution screening, but if locked, Israel Airport Authority employees are authorized to break the lock. After the inspection, they close it up again with plastic strips, and an explanatory note for the owner.

The sources say that the HBS system has inspected more than 800,000 pieces of baggage since it became operational on March 9, 2014, which means that 7% of suitcases have had their locks broken.

To avoid damage to their bags, screen messages at the airport advise passengers not to lock their luggage. But many passengers do so anyway, to prevent anyone rifling through their possessions.

The Airports Authority says it is due to obtain a license for a master key that will open TSA standard locks. “Locks that comply with this standard will be opened and closed. All other locks will be broken,” the AA warned.

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