Gaza War: U.S. and Europe suspend flights to Tel Aviv
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Federal Aviation Administration has banned US airlines from flying to Tel Aviv, after a Hamas missile from Gaza, yesterday hit an area near Ben Gurion Airport (see photo).
Delta, U.S. Airways and United Airlines have canceled all flights to and from Ben Gurion Airport. U.S. companies were joined by French, German, Italian and Belgian airlines. The ban lasts 24 to 36 hours. All the companies cited the need to ensure the safety of passengers and crew after the aircraft missile attack on Malaysia Airlines in the skies over Ukraine (flight MH17, with all 300 passengers dead.) But several prominent Israelis think that this is a move to pressure Israel to negotiate a truce with Hamas.
The Israeli Ministry of Transport has called the decision "handed terror a prize" and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the U.S. to reconsider the suspension, which may cause damage to the Israeli economy.
The billionaire Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor, criticizing Washington's decision, decided to take an El Al plane for Tel Aviv to show "solidarity with Israel and to show that you can come and go safely from Tel Aviv".
The flight suspension, according to Bloomberg, is "an undeserved victory for Hamas."
Meanwhile, along the Strip, raids and missile strikes continue.
The most recent report, released this morning by the Palestinian Authority speaks of 637 deaths and over 4 thousand injured. The majority of the Palestinians killed were civilians, including many children.
The Israeli army claims to have killed at least 170 militants. Among the Israeli victims there are 29 soldiers and two civilians.