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The city of Eilat closed at 10 a.m. for four hours as part of a protest against the closing of the Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv, according to Mako.
All routes into and out of the city will be closed off. This includes all land, sea and air travel and all border crossings. Route 90, route 12 and the Egyptian and Jordanian border crossings are included in the shutdown.
The closure comes three weeks after the mayor of Eilat, Meir Yitzchak Halevi, announced that if a solution was not found for the July 1 closure of the Sde Dov Airport, he would declare a state of emergency in the city of Eilat, Mako reported. Sde Dov currently serves as the main airport for flights between Eilat and central Israel.
"I regret the fact that despite what you say and what you promise, you avoid meeting with me and listening to the serious arguments and the grave implications that the closing of Sde Dov will have on the city of Eilat," Halevi wrote in an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The city is worried that closing Sde Dov will cut it off from central Israel and severely harm the tourism industry.
Together with the shutdown, educational institutions will begin a strike starting at 11 a.m. Shopping centers, Egged buses, taxi drivers, workers unions, hospital workers and patients who receive treatment in central Israel, municipal workers and government offices, security forces and others are also joining in the strike.
Residents of the Hevel Eilot Regional Council are also taking part in the protest. Contractors who work for the Eilat municipality are using dozens of heavy vehicles to close the entrances to the city.
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