Airports Authority says Gaza operation may disrupt commercial flights

No flights canceled at Ben-Gurion, takeoffs and landings diverted as Israel narrows civilian air corridor amid Operation Protective Edge.

By REUTERS
July 8, 2014 20:19
1 minute read.
El Al airplanes sit on the runway

El Al airplanes sit on the runway 370 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)

 
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Israel narrowed its civilian air corridor on Tuesday and said takeoffs and landings at Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv may be delayed by its Gaza air operation.

The Israel Airports Authority said no flights had been canceled at Ben-Gurion, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Gaza, as result of the hostilities, but takeoffs had been diverted to the east and landings to the north of the airport.

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"Due to air force operations, Israel's civilian air corridor has been narrowed," it said in a statement. "There could be delays in takeoffs and landings."

Longer-range rockets in the arsenal of Hamas, the dominant armed group in the Gaza Strip, can reach the airport and other areas in central Israel. On Monday, air raid sirens, warning of possible rocket attacks, sounded in Israeli towns on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, but police said they were false alarms.

Israel's Iron Dome rocket defense system batteries, operating in the south, have intercepted several rockets fired from the Gaza Strip in the current fighting.

Ben-Gurion remained open during Operation Pillar of Defense - Israel's 2012 eight-day air operation against terrorists in the Gaza Strip - and an Iron Dome battery was placed near the airport during that conflict.

Officials have not commented on whether the anti-missile system has been deployed near Ben-Gurion in the current upheaval.







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