Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion AirportIsrael Airport Authority

Israel Airport Authority spokesperson Ofer Lapler explained on Monday how the Ben Gurion International Airport is preparing for the anti-government demonstration planned for this evening outside the airport.

"We will uphold the flight schedule, we beefed up employee presence at all spots where we could speed up timely departures. Whether at the security inspections, loading the planes, and all other operational units that work to run the airport so it could run on time," Lapler stated in an interview with Radio 103FM.

"The ones responsible for public order are the police," he says. "I'm certain they'll do their job. We are here with them, working shoulder to shoulder. Less than 24 hours ago, the airport experienced an aviation emergency."

He called to refrain from holding demonstrations of any kind at the airport or around it. "Ben Gurion Airport and Israel's strategic sites need to be left out of the world of protests and demonstrations."

According to leaflets advertising the demonstration at the airport, it is scheduled for 5:00 PM. The demonstration comes at Ben Gurion Airport's busiest time, with over 90 thousand passengers slated to pass through it today alone. According to Israel Hayom, a third of those passengers are expected to pass through the airport between 5:00 PM and midnight, meaning a severe demonstration could affect over 30 thousand passengers.

On Saturday, a state of emergency was declared at the airport when a malfunction occurred on a United Airlines flight from Tel Aviv to Newark. "We saw to what extent the airport is a place that has a very high operational sensitivity that directly concerns human life. The airport can turn in seconds into a place where an emergency procedure is activated where the lives of hundreds of people depend on it," said Amnon Cohen, the acting director of the Israel Airports Authority.

"When a state of emergency was declared, dozens of ambulances, emergency, rescue, and security vehicles from all over Gush Dan and Jerusalem were rushed to the field. If God forbid the airport was blocked, and the entrance to it was blocked, the security and rescue forces would not have been able to enter the airport and prepare accordingly quickly, and we could have had an event with hundreds of dead and injured," he added.

He says, "Ben Gurion Airport is a place of first-class operational sensitivity. Blocking it, regardless of the reason, could end in an international catastrophe, so blocking Ben Gurion Airport must be off-limits."