Five European countries have recently denied refueling rights from El Al airplanes carrying ordnance and military equipment from the United States. Without these refueling stops, the aircraft must limit their payload, thus carrying fewer supplies to Israel.
The countries, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Germany have refused to allow these landings due to internal political and public scrutiny regarding the military assistance to Israel, especially during the recent war in Lebanon.
Captain Etai Regev, the chairman of El Al's pilots union, wrote in a letter to the Ministers of Defense, Transportation, Treasury and the Prime Minister that “El Al's 747 cargo planes frequently carry crucial military equipment to Israel and as a result, planes are taking off from the US with much lighter weight, and are reaching Israel with significantly fewer munitions than needed.”
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