United Airlines has suspended one of its pilots, Ibrahim Mossallam, following his controversial statements praising the October 7 attacks carried out by the Hamas terrorist group. Mossallam referred to the actions of the group as "brave" in a Facebook post, sparking outrage and concerns about passenger safety.
In his lengthy social media post, Mossallam asserted that the mass media portrays Palestine in a biased and politically manipulated way. He justified the October 7 attacks by stating that they were not "without provocation from the other side," claiming a response to past attacks by the Zionist regime.
The pilot's remarks drew attention after screenshots of his Facebook account were shared on social media platforms, particularly by Stop Antisemitism. The organization and other commentators condemned Mossallam's comments, expressing worries about the safety of Jewish passengers and highlighting the fact that Hamas is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in the United States.
United Airlines responded promptly to the controversy, announcing Mossallam's suspension with continued payment of his salary. The airline stated, "As of these moments, the pilot has been removed from service. We are looking into the matter and his continued work at the company."
The suspension decision came after a wave of criticism, with concerns raised by social media users about the appropriateness of a pilot who supports terrorism continuing to operate flights. Some users, such as Stop Antisemitism, called for Mossallam's termination, emphasizing the potential risk to passengers.
This incident follows a similar controversy involving Air Canada in October when Boeing 787 Dreamliner pilot Mostafa Ezzo faced backlash for antisemitic Instagram posts. Ezzo's posts, which led to his suspension, featured him wearing Palestinian flags over his Air Canada pilot's uniform and making profane comments about Israel.
United Airlines has taken swift action to address the situation, signaling the airline industry's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of passengers in the face of controversial statements by its personnel. The investigation into Mossallam's conduct is ongoing, and the airline has yet to make final decision on his employment status.