Ultra-Orthodox passengers onboard a pair of Israel-bound El Al planes that took off from New York on Thursday caused an uproar, with some reportedly becoming violent, over fears they would be mid-flight after the start of the Jewish Shabbat.
One of the planes ultimately diverted to Athens. The second plane was also considering diverting, to Rome, but in the end continued its flight to Ben Gurion Airport as scheduled, because of a medical condition affecting one passenger.
Both of the flights had been delayed by hours on Thursday due to stormy weather in the Midwest and East Coast that led to the delay or cancellation of hundreds of flights.
As a result, in the course of the flights, a number of passengers grew angry they would not arrive in Israel until after the start of Shabbat, despite being assured by the crew they would arrive before sundown Friday when Shabbat begins, according to a passenger on one of the planes.