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Air France fined, non-Jewish passenger Horia Ankour forced off flight

April 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM

PARIS, April 5 (UPI) -- A French court ordered Air France to pay damages and a fine for forcing a pro-Palestine activist off a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel, because she was not Jewish.

The court Thursday gave the airline a 10,000 euro ($13,021) fine, and obligated it to pay 3,000 euros ($3,902) to Horia Ankour, 30, a nursing student who attempted to fly from France to Israel in April 2012 to participate in a "Welcome to Palestine" campaign which saw hundreds of activists seek access to Israel to travel to the Palestinian territories, Radio France Internationale reported Friday.

Heavy pressure by Israel forced cancellation of about 300 flights in Europe that day. Ankour was taken off a plane in Nice, France, after an Air France employee asked if she had an Israeli passport and if she was Jewish. She answered no to both questions, and was escorted from the flight, RFI said.

French prosecutors back her case in court, calling it a case of discrimination. Air France claimed Ankour's name was on a list of undesirables provided by the Israeli government.

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