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Israel to open Eilat airport in effort to resume flights

July 23, 2014 11:21 A.M. (Updated: July 26, 2014 12:03 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli Ministry of Transportation on Wednesday offered to open an airport in the southern Israeli city of Eilat to international flights after a slew of international carriers pulled flights to Tel Aviv out of safety concerns, Israeli media said.

A report on Israel's Channel 10 highlighted that Israel had exerted major efforts in the last 24 hours to convince international companies to resume flights to Ben Gurion airport, which many European and US carriers halted after a Gaza rocket landed in the nearby town of Yehud.

The report said that US airlines had decided to halt flights for 24 hours beginning Tuesday evening, while European airlines had halted flights to Israel for 36 hours also beginning Tuesday evening.

The cancellation of dozens of flights in and out of Tel Aviv sparked ire in Israel, where it was seen by many as a victory for Hamas' effort to shut down daily life in the country.

Palestinian militant groups including Hamas have fired 1,840 rockets according to the Israeli military, leading to panic and fear across southern Israel but causing few casualties or damage.

The rocket strike on Yehud on Tuesday, however, hit a house and sparked panic that earlier threats to strike the airport would be realized.
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