Hamas threatens airlines, Ben-Gurion shuts down arrival flights
Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday morning began redirecting all inbound flights to Ramon International Airport in southern Israel, as terror groups in the Gaza Strip continued to launch rockets into Israeli territory. Departing flights will continue to take off from Ben Gurion Airport. Hamas’s military wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, sent an explosive message to international airlines on Thursday, warning them they would target Israeli airports, and called it “legal notices” to serve as a warning. United Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines have canceled flights between the United States and Tel Aviv, according to data from FlightAware flight tracker, amid an escalating conflict in Israel. British Airways, Luftansa, Iberia and Virgin Atlantic have also canceled flights to Tel Aviv.
El Al is currently organizing emergency flights out of the country, despite the cancellation of many inbound flights due to the ongoing escalation.
There is currently a backlog of people at Ramon Airport waiting to be tested for the coronavirus, according to a Jerusalem Post corresponding.
Passengers do not know how and when they will leave Eilat to return home across the country.
Israel said it killed 16 members of Hamas’s armed wing in Gaza at a roadblock on Wednesday and that Palestinian terrorists rained rockets on Israel in one of their most intense hostilities in years.
In a statement, shortly after a large barrage of rockets into southern and central Israel on Thursday afternoon, Abu-Ubaida, spokesman for Hamas’s military wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, said. that Hamas was launching rockets at Ramon airport with the 250 Ayyash rocket. which, according to him, is a powerful rocket with a range of over 250 km.
The Al-Qassam spokesman warned international airlines to immediately stop all flights to Israel.
Abu-Ubaida called the dam “a victory for Al-Aqsa and part of our response to the assassination of our heroic leaders and engineers.”
United Airlines said it canceled flights from Chicago and Newark to Tel Aviv on May 11 and flights from San Francisco and Newark on May 12. “We have issued a travel waiver to allow customers to adjust their travel until May 25 and will continue to monitor A spokesperson for Delta, which flies to Tel Aviv from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) from New York, said he had issued a travel wavier for flights between May 11 and 13 and that he determined on resuming at this point. ”American Airlines, which also flies to Tel Aviv from JFK, did not comment immediately.
“The safety and security of our colleagues and customers is always our top priority, and we continue to monitor the situation closely,” the airline said.
El Al Israel Airlines said earlier Wednesday that it was ready to operate additional flights if necessary “to keep the skies of Israel open.” This could include special flights to repatriate Israelis stranded “to places from which it is not possible to return to their homes,” he said in a statement. dam over the Tel Aviv area. The country has a smaller airport in the south, called Ramon, designed to act as a staging post if threats of war require longer shutdowns of Ben-Gurion. Since last Monday, some 1,200 rockets have been fired at Israel as terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and the IDF clash amid tensions around Jerusalem. Rockets from Gaza have killed seven Israelis, including a father and a girl when a rocket hit directly. in Lod. Another victim was Omer Tabib, an IDF soldier who was due for release next month.