|Israeli airline workers are not happy with the government's EU deal. Image: Olivier Fitoussi on Haaretz|
Up to 500 Israeli airline staff have taken to burning tyres outside government offices this week, in protest against the government's recent decision to sign an Open Skies deal with European carriers.
Although the country's Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu said the agreement would help reduce the cost of flights as well as increase inbound tourism, local aviation staff are concerned the deal could result in mass job losses, Sky News Australia reported.
Strikes commenced at 5.00am or (12.00AEST) on Sunday and did not include a possible end time or date.
Among the employees striking include those working for El Al, Arkia and Israir.
'Implementing the Open Skies agreement in its current format will have severe ramifications which would fatally and irreversibly harm civilian aviation in Israel,' Histadrut trade union chairman Ofer Eini said in a letter.
Demonstrations include setting tyres alight, arguing with police officers and riot units as well as waving banners saying “Israel's skies are shutting out Israeli airlines” and “'International airlines that don't add Israel to their (airline) alliances because of the Arab boycott are about to take over Israeli skies”.