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Air Canada grounds pilot over ‘unacceptable posts’ about Israel

Pilot caught posting string of anti-Semintic messages to social media.

Holly Hales
Wednesday 11 October 2023 19:16 BST
Netanyahu calls Biden to thank him for support after Hamas attack

Air Canada has grounded a pilot after he was caught posting a string of anti-Semintic messages on social media.

First Officer Mostafa Ezzo, who is based in Montreal, allegedly called Israel a “terorist [sic] state” and carried a sign saying “Israel, Hitler is proud of you”.

He added: “F*** you Israel, burn in hell”.

Mr Ezzo also allegedly wore pro-Palestinian colours while in uniform.

The posts come after Hamas’ violent assault on Israel last weekend which triggered widespread conflict and bloodshed in the region.

Air Canada was quick to hit back at Mr Ezzo’s posts, confirming he had been grounded from flying.

“We are aware of the unacceptable posts made by an Air Canada pilot,” a statement, posted on X, read.

“We are taking this matter very seriously, and he was taken out of service on Mon, Oct. 9. We firmly denounce violence in all forms.”

Air Canada has grounded a pilot after he was caught posting a string of anti-Semintic messages on social media (AFP via Getty Images)

An Air Canada spokesman told The Toronto Star why it had taken the action against Mr Ezzo.

“We did this because this individual’s opinions and publications on social media do not represent Air Canada’s views in any way,” he said.

“This person has never been authorized to speak publicly while identifying themselves as an Air Canada employee.”

Air Canada has suspended flights into Tel Aviv since the conflict broke out.

It comes as Israeli defence officials warned Gaza is going to be razed to the ground and reduced to “a city of tents”.

Israeli troops have already massed at the border with Gaza in what could presage a sweeping ground invasion of the strip.

One of the signs Mr Izzo was pictured with (Instagram)

Military officials warned they had “created an iron wall of tanks, helicopters and aircraft” around Gaza as they continued to carry out strikes on the region from the air late on Tuesday night.

Palestinian officials warned that Gaza no longer has electricity after the only power plant fueling the strip was shut off.

The director of the Gaza Energy Authority, Jalal Ismail, announced that the power plant had been shut down.

Many of the hospitals in Gaza are already “at capacity”, according to one British-Palestinian surgeon who spoke to The Independent, with medical supplies running out.

On Saturday morning, Hamas targeted the Nova music festival, a techno rave in the desert near the border with Gaza, killing at least 260 people.

Videos shared on social media and by Israeli news outlets showed dozens of festival-goers running through an open field as gunshots rang out.

Many hid in nearby fruit orchards or were gunned down as they fled.

At least 1,055 people have since been killed in Gaza by Israel‘s retaliatory airstrikes while roughly 5,184 have been wounded.

More than 1,200 Israelis have been killed in the conflict and more than 2,700 injured, according to the latest updates.

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