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An American family caused a panic at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport Thursday when they showed up with an unexploded artillery shell they found while in the Golan Heights, in the country’s north. 

Videos circulating online showed frightened passengers inside the airport running for safety and screaming. Authorities sounded an alert and at least one person was injured trying to run on a conveyer belt.

Other videos show passengers on the floor in an attempt to secure cover. The shell was removed and the family was released after being questioned. There was no explosion. The family said they found the shell in the Golan Heights and intended to bring it back as a souvenir. 

Authorities are still investigating the incident. 

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war, and the area saw heavy fighting during that war and another Arab-Israeli war six years later. Areas known to contain unexploded munitions are clearly marked and fenced off.

Israel annexed the strategic plateau in 1981 and today it is a major tourist draw, with wineries, popular hiking spots and a small ski resort with a short season. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced plans to boost Israeli settlement in the territory in December.

In this photo provided by Israel’s airport authority, shows an unexploded artillery shell at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, Israel. A bomb scare set off scenes of panic at Israel’s airport after an American family showed up with an unexploded artillery shell they had found in the Golan Heights and intended to bring back as a souvenir. 

The Trump administration broke with decades of American policy to recognize Israel’s claim to the Golan, making the United States the only country to do so.

Israel says it needs the Golan, which has soaring views over Lebanon and Syria, for its security. Syria has long insisted the entire territory be returned to it in any peace deal.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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