Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the official opening ceremony of the new Ramon International Airport, named in memory of Ilan and Asaf Ramon, near the southern Israeli city of Eilat, on Jan. 21, 2019.

In the early hours of Thursday, Israel began to divert planes arriving from abroad to Ramon International Airport in the Timna Valley in southern Israel, north of Eilat. instead of allowing them to land at Ben Gurion International Airport next to Lod.

Ben Gurion has been targeted by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fire since the start of the current conflict, Operation Guardian of the Walls.

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On Wednesday night the Gaza terror groups began using longer-range rockets with heavier and more lethal warheads.

The three largest airlines in the United States cancelled flights to Tel Aviv on Wednesday as the conflict intensified.

United Airlines cancelled flights from Chicago, Newark and San Francisco until Sunday, May 16, the eve of the Jewish Shavuot holiday.

American Airlines canceled its daily New York – Tel Aviv flight on Wednesday and Thursday.

Delta canceled flights from New York to Tel Aviv through Thursday.

All three airlines said they are monitoring the situation as events unfold to determine when to resume flights.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.