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Israel shuts Ben Gurion Airport to incoming flights amid rocket fire from Gaza

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In a bid to minimize the exposure of civilian air travel to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, Israeli air officials said Thursday that incoming passenger flights would be diverted from Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv to Ramon Airport outside Eilat in the south.

Palestinian terrorists have fired waves of rockets at Israel over recent days, with some of the projectiles slamming into the central region of the country, where Ben Gurion Airport is located. No rockets have hit the sprawling terminus.

Under the new plan, passengers will disembark at Ramon, which opened in 2019. The empty planes will then fly to Ben Gurion to take on new passengers, and then depart from Ben Gurion to their destinations abroad.

The decision is meant to broaden the air corridor taken by passenger flights in and out of the country and to minimize the numbers of passenger-filled planes on the ground at any one place in order to lower the chances that rocket fire from Gaza will hit a plane.

Freight aircraft and private planes will still be allowed to land at Ben Gurion, an Israel Airports Authority spokesman said.

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The development came as US airlines began canceling flights to Israel due to the rocket attacks.

United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Airlines all said they were canceling flights to Tel Aviv, The New York Times reported........

© The Times of Israel

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