DUBAI (Dispatches) – The United Arab Emirates’ flag carrier has suspended a Tunisian pilot for refusing to fly a plane to the Israeli-occupied territories.
Monem Sahib al-Taba, who works for Emirates airline, revealed that his activity as a pilot was suspended due to his refusal to participate in a trip to the occupied territories.
In a post on his Facebook page, al-Taba wrote: "My activity as a pilot in Emirates Airlines was suspended due to my refusal to participate in a flight to Tel Aviv … God is only who takes care of me … I do not regret it.”
Emirates Airlines announced last year it will begin operating daily direct flights to Tel Aviv in March 2021 following the normalization of ties between the UAE and the Zionist regime last August.
In statements made to the local press, al-Taba said his suspension is pending his appearance before the disciplinary committee.
He also closed his Facebook account, he said, after being pressured by Emirates, due to his last post.
Arab activists denounced the suspension, and praised al-Taba for his "heroic stance” to refuse to recognize the Zionist regime despite Abu Dhabi’s normalization of ties with the occupying regime.
"Whoever leaves something for God, God will compensate him with something better,” said Palestinian activist Tamer Almisshal.
"This honorable free pilot and many others like him are the obstacle to normalization with the Israeli entity that the occupiers fear,” wrote another activist, Chiheb Eddinne Mellouli.
Abu Dhabi signed an agreement to normalize diplomatic relations with the Zionist regime last year. Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco later announced normalization agreements of their own with the regime.
All Palestinian factions have condemned the normalization deals, calling them a betrayal of their cause.
Tunisia has made it clear that it will not follow suit in normalizing relations with the regime, and that its position on the Palestinians’ legitimate rights will not be affected by any international developments.