Graffiti found on El Al plane in Italy-police

MILAN, March 11 (Reuters) - Pro-Palestinian graffiti written in Arabic has been found scrawled inside the cargo hold of an El Al plane during unloading at Milan’s Malpensa airport, raising Israeli concerns about Italian airport security.

“It was something like ‘Long Live Palestine’,” written with a marker pen, Raffaele Veri of the Malpensa airport police told Reuters on Tuesday. “It has happened once before.”

Israel’s flag carrier, which normally uses round-the-clock security for its planes, said in a statement it had demanded an investigation into Monday’s incident, without giving any further details of what had happened.

“Immediately upon receiving word of the incident, the company demanded that an investigation be launched into the circumstances surrounding it,” El Al said.

Italian police said the security breach was unlikely to have happened at Malpensa, as the plane had only just landed when the graffiti was discovered.

The Israeli embassy in Rome said it does not comment on security matters.

A source close to the Italian airport police said local authorities only learned of the graffitti after the plane left the Italian airport for Tel Aviv on Monday. (Reporting by Nicola Scevola and by Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Dominic Evans)