Last week's 36-hour order by the Federal Aviation Administration preventing American carriers from flying to Ben Gurion Airport inspired the “Samaria Foreign Ministry” to show European parliamentarians what the situation at the airport would be if terrorists were just a few kilometers from Israel's borders in Judea and Samaria, instead of 60 some kilometers away in Gaza. In series of photos and videos, the group expressed clearly the dangers planes would be subjected to, to the extent that operating the airport would be impossible.
The photos were taken by Dr. Martin Sherman, Founder and Executive Director of the Israeli Institute For Strategic Studies. The photos do not contain any secret security data and are not based on esoteric intelligence; Sherman simply went to a hilltop in Samaria near the 1948 armistice lines – which, if the “two state solution” were implemented, would be in “Palestine” - and took photos of planes landing and taking off. The photos show how close the airport is, and how vulnerable planes are.
Yossi Dagan, deputy chairman of the Samaria Regional Council, who is managing the Ministry's media campaign, said that “it was important to express visually to members of the European parliament, who have already seen the region in person, as well as others, exactly what the dangers are.”
“You don't have to be a great strategist to understand what the photos represent,” he said. “In the wake of the rocket fire from Gaza, no sane person could advocate a situation that would allow Samaria to be turned into a version of Gaza, turning Ben Gurion Airport into a shooting range.”
The images, said Samaria Council head Gershon Mesika, were sent to “public opinion leaders, media figures, and other influencers.”
“This is an important additional way that the Ministry helps Israel to present its case on the future of Judea and Samaria in an efficient manner. We will continue to keep up our relationships with these influencers and invite them to tour Samaria,” he added.