Hamas attack in Israel: State Department issues Level 3 advisory for travel to Israel

(NEW YORK) — Hundreds of people have died and thousands more are injured after Hamas militants launched an unprecedented attack from Gaza into Israel Saturday, Israeli authorities said.

The Israeli Defense Forces declared “a state of alert for war,” the IDF said early Saturday morning.

As of Thursday, at least 1,200 people have died and 2,900 others are injured in Israel, the Israeli Health Ministry said. In Gaza, 1,417 people — including 447 children and 248 women — have been killed since the retaliatory airstrikes by Israel began, and about 6,268 others are injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday elevated its advisory for travel for Israel and the West Bank to a Level 3, “reconsider travel,” due to “terrorism and civil unrest,” and it currently has a “do not travel” advisory for Gaza.

Is travel to Israel suspended?

The Federal Aviation Administration continues to urge U.S. airlines and pilots to “use caution” when flying in Israeli airspace.

The agency issued a NOTAM, or Notice to Air Missions, to pilots on Saturday that read, in part, “potentially hazardous situation” and “operators are advised to exercise extreme caution.”

The FAA issued an updated NOTAM on Tuesday, saying, “Currently there are no restrictions on United States certificated airmen or operators to operate into or out of Israel.”

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) for the airspace of Israel on Sunday, recommending air operators “ensure that a robust risk assessment is in place together with a high level of contingency planning for their operations and to be ready for short notice instructions from the Israeli authorities.”

As of Thursday morning, all major U.S. airlines and a number of foreign carriers had suspended service to and from Israel. Many other airlines, including Israeli flag carrier El Al, continue to operate flights.

American Airlines has canceled flights to and from Tel Aviv through Dec. 4. “We continue to monitor and will make any additional adjustments as needed,” the airline has said in a statement to ABC News.

Delta Air Lines said it has suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv until the end of October, saying: “Our hearts are with those who are impacted as our people work to find safe alternatives for customers trying to depart TLV.”

United Airlines has said its flights to and from Tel Aviv “will remain suspended until conditions allow them to resume.”

Air Canada canceled a number of flights to and from Tel Aviv through Friday.

European airlines

Air France has suspended flights to Tel Aviv “until further notice.”

British Airways has also suspended flights to Tel Aviv.

KLM canceled all of its flights to and from Tel Aviv “until further notice.”

Wizz Air canceled all of its Israel-bound flights through Friday. EasyJet also canceled its flights to Tel Aviv through Friday.

Lufthansa has suspended flights to Tel Aviv through Saturday.

ITA said it canceled flights to Tel Aviv until Saturday.

Ryanair said it canceled flights to Tel Aviv through Sunday.

Norwegian Air said it canceled all its flights to and from Tel Aviv through Sunday.

Finnair said it canceled flights to and from Tel Aviv through Sunday.

TAP announced it would suspend flights to Tel Aviv, but didn’t provide a timeframe on how long they would be suspended.

Middle East and Asia

Gulf Air said it canceled flights to Tel Aviv until Saturday.

Emirates announced it will suspend flights to and from Tel Aviv through Oct. 20. The airline also said customers with onward connections to Tel Aviv will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin until further notice.

Cathay Pacific canceled its flights between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv through Oct. 29.

Turkish Airlines announced it would “temporarily” suspend flights to and from Tel Aviv “until further notice.”

Airlines still flying to and from Israel

Virgin Atlantic canceled some flights to Israel but continues to operate some service between Tel Aviv and Heathrow Airport in London.

El Al continues to fly to and from Tel Aviv, saying it “operates in accordance with the instructions of the Israeli security forces.”

flydubai said its flights to TLV are currently operating on schedule and it will “continue to monitor the situation closely and amend our schedule accordingly.”

Hainan Airlines will operate two round-trip direct flights between Shenzhen and Tel Aviv on Tuesdays and Fridays from Oct. 12 to Oct. 31.

How to get out of Israel

U.S. citizens in Israel “should follow local government advice to increase their security awareness and remain safe,” the State Department said. Citizens who need assistance should fill out the crisis intake form to contact their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate

“U.S. citizens who wish to leave and can do so safely are advised to check the status of the border crossings or verify flights have not been canceled before heading to the Ben Gurion Airport,” the department said.

 

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