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El Al claims airline’s buyer is front man for his non-Israeli father

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El Al Israel Airlines is opposing the purchase of a controlling stake by religious student Eli Rozenberg, alleging he is a front man for his father, who is not an Israeli citizen as required by law, according to a letter from its lawyers.

FILE PHOTO: The first of Israel's El Al Airlines order of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets, lands at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

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JERUSALEM: El Al Israel Airlines is opposing the purchase of a controlling stake by religious student Eli Rozenberg, alleging he is a front man for his father, who is not an Israeli citizen as required by law, according to a letter from its lawyers.

In the letter seen by Reuters, the financially strapped group's board requests government ministers reconsider giving the 27-year old Rozenberg control of Israel's flag carrier.

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Eli Rozenberg's newly created Kanfei Nesharim Aviation bought US$107 million worth of shares in an offering last week that gave him a nearly 43per cent stake in Israels flag carrier.

He told El Al this week that he was assuming control of the airline and would make changes to the board.

Rozenberg, who is an Israeli citizen and resides in Israel, is the son of Kenny Rozenberg, chief executive of New York-based nursing home chain Centers Health Care.

"According to the laws and terms of El Al, buying a controlling stake by a foreigner is forbidden," El Al's lawyers wrote in the letter, adding control by an American could cause problems with flying rights to other countries.

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It said data obtained by El Al shows Kenny Rozenberg controls Kanfei Nesharim.

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