Tunisian pilot Monem al-Taba said he was suspended by the UAE’s national airline for refusing to fly to Tel Aviv.
The UAE flag bearer has suspended a Tunisian pilot for refusing to fly a plane to Israel.
Monem Sahib al-Taba, who works for Emirates airline, revealed that his pilot activity was suspended due to his refusal to participate in a trip to Tel Aviv.
In a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, al-Taba wrote: “My pilot activity at Emirates Airlines has been put on hold due to my refusal to join a flight to Tel Aviv… God is the only one who cares of me… I do not regret it.
Emirates Airlines announced last year that it would begin operating daily direct flights to Tel Aviv in March 2021 after relations between the UAE and Israel normalized last August.
In statements to the local press, al-Taba said his suspension was pending his appearance before the disciplinary committee.
He also closed his Facebook account, he said, after coming under pressure from Emirates over his latest post.
Many Tunisian politicians have praised his anti-normalization stance. Deputy leader of the Ennahdha party, Hayet Omri, wrote on her Facebook page that al-Taba’s position “is a source of honor and pride.”
Mahdi Abdel-Gawad, a leader of the Vive la Tunisie party, said the pilot’s moral stance was proof that the Palestinian cause is still in the hearts of many Tunisians.
“Many will welcome the courageous gesture of the Tunisian captain,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It is true that this action is living proof of the status of the Palestinian question in the minds of Tunisians, but in practice it will suffer consequences that could lead to the loss of his job.”
Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have also since normalized their relations with Israel.
Tunisia has previously said that it will not normalize its relations with Israel and that its position on the legitimate rights of the Palestinians will not be affected by any international development.