US Family in Israel Try to Take Unexploded Bomb Shell Home as Souvenir

An American family caused quite the scare at Israel’s main international airport last week after presenting an unexploded bomb shell as a souvenir at a security check.

Passengers at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv suffered the fright of their lives last Thursday, when a U.S. family casually presented an unexploded ordinance at a security check. A member of the family, whose names have not been revealed, had reportedly picked up the explosive as a souvenir on a visit to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and decided that it would be a good idea to take it home to the States as a souvenir. According to eye-witnesses, the man simply took it out of his backpack and showed it to security staff, asking them if it could be put in a suitcase.

Shocked by the unexpected “souvenir”, one security officer ordered the immediate vicinity of the old bomb shell to be cleared, but another passenger misheard the order and started shouting “terrorists shooting”. Panic ensued almost instantly, and video shortage from the airport shows people either shouting and fleeing the check-in area or simply lying on the floor, waiting for the danger to pass.

“I was at the airport waiting for an hour in line until I got to the check-in counter, and suddenly at a radius of five meters (16ft) people started running away and left luggage,” one young man told YNet. “The fear was that someone is spraying bullets, I understood that I too have to escape, so I ran towards the check-in, I stumbled on a conveyor belt… and flew a distance of six meters.”


The unexploded bomb shell is believed to date back to the Israeli-Syrian war of 1967. The Golan Heights was pummeled by heavy bombings and artillery during the Six-Day War, and decades-old unexploded ordinance is still discovered periodically.

As for the U.S. family, they were held for a quick round of questioning, and once officials determined that they were not a threat, they were allowed to board the plane back home.

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