Israel int’l airport closed for landings amid tensions


Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, located outside Tel Aviv, has been closed for landings amid rising tensions between the Jewish state and militants in the Gaza Strip, the country’s airport authority said on Thursday.

Departures will be redirected to the Ramon Airport, a smaller airport outside the southern resort city of Eilat, the Israel Airports Authority said in a statement.

“The decision to reroute the flights is aimed to allow greater freedom of action in protecting the skies of Israel,” Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines have temporarily suspended planned flights to Israel from Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna.

Flight operations are expected to be restart by Saturday.

After hundreds of Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police in East Jerusalem on Monday morning, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, launched rocket attacks against Israel, which responded with intense airstrike against targets in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have now fired more than 1,600 rockets from Gaza at Israel since the latest flare-up of fighting began earlier this week.