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July 8, 2014 11:31 am

Gaza Rockets Force Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport to Change Flight Routes

avatar by Dave Bender

Ben Gurion Airport. Photo: WikiCommons.

“Ben-Gurion International Airport is continuing it’s normal schedule,” despite the impending threat of Palestinian terrorists in Gaza firing long-range Grad rockets into Israel’s densely-populated Tel Aviv, according to a statement sent to The Algemeiner by the Airports Authority.

“Yet, due to (Israel Air Force) activity, Israel’s civilian air traffic corridors have been narrowed which could result in delays for takeoffs and landings,” the statement said.

“Travelers should be in touch with their airlines for more information,” Spokesman Ofer Lefler said.

Additionally, “In the coming day, 400 flights are scheduled to land and takeoff at Ben Gurion airport. Incoming flights will use runway 21 from the North and takeoffs will use runway 08 facing East,” the statement read.

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Officials also closed Herzliya’s Sde Dov airfield, north of Tel Aviv, to outgoing flights in preparation for possible rocket barrages.

Additionally, “The Eilat airport is currently closed for all flights,” Lefler said. The Red Sea hotel resort airfield is threatened by potential rocket strikes from jihadists in the adjacent lawless Egyptian Sinai.

A senior Israeli army source told Army radio on Tuesday that Hamas will likely try to hit Tel Aviv overnight with 80-km range Grad rockets, like in 2012’s Operation Defensive Shield.

Municipal officials in Tel Aviv and neighboring Givatiyim in the central Gush Dan region instructed residents in homes and apartment buildings to clear out and prepare private and public bomb shelters and protected spaces.

Additionally, city officials in Rishon Letzion, south of Tel Aviv, are evacuating their beach, over concerns that rockets may be fired along the coastal area.

Palestinians fired dozens of rockets at Ashdod and Ashkelon to the south, as well as numerous other communities and more rural areas.

The IDF has also reportedly deployed an Iron Dome battery in the vicinity of Jerusalem, after rockets were fired towards areas southeast of the capital, including Bet Shemesh, and the Gush Etzion bloc of communities.

Residents in both suburban areas repeatedly entered bomb shelters, although no hits in populated areas were noted. The radar-guided, GPS-mapped Iron Dome anti-missile interceptor system only fires at projectiles headed for populated locales.

Hamas has fired over 130 rockets at Israeli civilians since last night. In response, the IDF has targeted approximately 150 terror sites in Gaza, the IDF said.

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