TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 22, 2014) - In an effort to commit an act of mass terrorism, Hamas has attempted to shoot down a plane at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv today, prompting the grounding of tonight's Air Canada flight to Israel, as well as a 24 hour grounding of American and European air travel to the Jewish state.

"Hamas is showing the world its true colours as it strives to emulate the recent tragic attack against a Malaysian aircraft, which succeeded in downing the plane and killing 298 innocent passengers - to the horror of the entire world," said Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center President and CEO Avi Benlolo. "These are the men Hamas looks up to, this is the perverse strategy it pursues, and here is the true face of terror brought home for all Canadians to see."

Hamas has fired more than 2,500 missiles at Israel since the beginning of the conflict and continues to refuse all ceasefire attempts. FSWC urges all peace loving people who believe in freedom and democracy to support Israel's right to self defense against this violent terrorist entity. "Officials at Ben Gurion Airport are confident that it is safe to fly to Israel and we encourage Air Canada to resume its flights to Tel Aviv as soon as possible," added Mr. Benlolo.


Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights foundation directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, Spirit of Hope Benefit, Speakers Idol, Tools for Tolerance and its widely acclaimed new Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at

Contact Information:

Stacey Starkman
Director, Communications & External Relations
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
416.864.9735 x 32 (office)
416.524.3287 (cell)