Middle East

Tel Aviv flights operating despite Hamas threat

A smoke trail is seen as a rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel August 20, 2014. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

TEL AVIV: All flights were operating normally at Israel's Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv early Thursday despite a warning issued by Hamas's armed wing in Gaza, officials said.

Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, told AFP that flights had been disrupted for a brief 10 minute pause but aside from that, everything was operating normally.

"There has been no change to take offs or landings. Flights were interrupted for 10 minutes for security reasons but I cannot give any details on that," he said.

In a televised address late Wednesday, a spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades warned foreign airlines against flying into Tel Aviv from 6 a.m. in a bid to disrupt air traffic.

Last month, major U.S. and European airlines suspended flights to Tel Aviv over security concerns for two days after a rocket landed very close to one of the runways at Ben Gurion.

But there was no rocket fire directed at the airport Thursday morning, an army spokeswoman said.

The suspension of international flights in July was hailed by Hamas as a "great victory."

On Wednesday, the Qassam Brigades claimed it had fired a rocket at one of Israel's offshore gas platforms, although the army said it was not aware of anything being hit.





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