A man from GERALDTON was broken from his jaw, which required a sudden operation after a brutal confrontation with security guards at the Israeli airport.
41-year-old Ben de Jonge said he expected a happy reunion with his Israeli wife Neta and two young children when he arrived at Tel Aviv airport on Wednesday after a long flight from Australia.
Being a resident of Israel for the last five years he was familiar with the security process at the airport.
The last thing he expected was going away with a broken jaw.
Speaking from a hospital bed to a 7 News reporter, Mr. de Jonge said he explained to Security officials that he was tired of the flight and did not want to answer their questions. He said the staff understood.
However, when he left, a male security official was appointed. The official repeatedly told him to sit down and he refused. Mr. de Jonge said that the official then hit him in the jaw.
"The next thing I was on the ground from nowhere, I did not see it coming," he said.
"I'm still shocked, I do not know where he came from."
An airport physician healed his injuries before he was taken to the hospital. His jaw was broken in two places requiring immediate surgery.
"You know, he was an animal." Even when I was in handcuffs with blood dripping on the floor, he was there staring at me as if he wanted to kill me, "he said.
"He just would not stop staring at me, I swear to God that the guy belongs to the cage, that's not real."
Mrs. de Jonge was at the airport, waiting for her husband and her children when she picked up the phone.
"I got a phone call that Ben is being followed and we can not see him in the next hour or two, so we had to wait outside," she said.
"I tried to get more information from the person who called me, but he did not want to give it to me."
The panicked Mrs. de Jonge learned about the robbery and tried to explain the situation to their children.
"Not the way we expected my dad after two weeks in Australia," she said.
"Yesterday, when they came to visit him (in the hospital), they were in tears."
Mr. de Jonge gets better after a 7-hour surgery to restore his jaw, and the emotional toll he fell victim to the attack is clear.
"Emotional … I'm not good," he said.
"I'm better than yesterday after surgery, I've had a lot of pain over the last two days and I just could not think about it, I spent the last two days staring at the wall."
A statement from the airport in Tel Aviv says that de Jonge refused to reveal himself to a security official.