Countries suspend flights to Tel Aviv out of fear of Hamas

Newscast Media BERLIN—Several international airlines including Germany’s Lufthansa
have announced that they are suspending flights to Tel Aviv for safety reasons. This
came after at least one militant rocket reportedly hit near the airport.

The Lufthansa Group announced Tuesday that it was canceling all flights to Tel Aviv
for the next 36 hours. This includes not just Lufthansa flights, but also those of the
group’s other airlines: Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss.

According to a statement, the decision had been made because of the “unsafe
situation” in the vicinity of Ben Gurion International Airport on the outskirts of Tel
Aviv. This came just hours after at least one rocket fired from the Gaza Strip by
militants hit in the vicinity of the airport. The Islamist group Hamas and its allies have
been firing rockets at Israel over the past two weeks, as the country continues an
offensive in the Palestinian territory.

Lufthansa normally operates between seven and 10 flights to Tel Aviv daily, from
Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Zurich and Vienna.

Lufthansa was just one of several international airlines to suspend flights to Tel Aviv
on Tuesday, after Air France announced it was doing so “until further notice.”
Dutch flag carrier KLM followed suit.

“We have canceled our flight to Tel Aviv as a precaution because we can’t secure
passengers’ safety,” KLM spokeswoman Joyce Veekman said. “We’ll review the
situation every day.”

Earlier, the US carriers Delta, US Airways and United Airlines had announced similar
moves.

This comes just days after a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crashed into eastern
Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. This raised questions about whether airlines
should be operating over zones of armed conflict.

Source: Deutsche Welle

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