Pilots for Israel’s national airline are refusing to fly African asylum seekers who are being deported, the Times of Israel reports, because they disagree with Israel’s strict new laws.
One pilot reportedly said he refused to “fly refugees to their death”.
The news site describes the decision, announced on Facebook “by at least three El Al pilots”, as “mostly symbolic” because the air carrier “does not fly directly to Rwanda or Uganda, and deported migrants usually fly on other airlines through Ethiopia or Jordan”.
The Israeli government issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment.
It said migrants would be given up to $3,500 (£2,600) for leaving within the next 90 days, and would be given the option of going to their home country or third countries.
But if they do not leave, the Israeli authorities have threatened that they will start jailing them from April.
The Times of Israel says the campaign was organised by local rights group, Zazim, which says that the country’s Civil Aviation Authority and the pilots union had received more than 7,500 calls “urging the pilots not to participate in the deportation and send the refugees to a place where their lives are in danger”.