US flights to Tel Aviv canceled as violence escalates

US flights to Tel Aviv canceled as violence escalates
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Airlines in the United States are canceling flights to Tel Aviv as violence escalates between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel.

Delta Air Lines confirmed to The Hill that it canceled flights to and from Tel Aviv on Tuesday. The company said that “teams are monitoring the situation," but there is "no determination about resumption currently.”

The airlines issued a travel waiver for customers yesterday that is in place until Thursday.

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United Airlines said in a statement to The Hill that it canceled round-trip flights to Tel Aviv on Tuesday from Chicago and Newark, as well as Wednesday from Newark and San Francisco.

The company issued a travel waiver to allow customers to adjust their travel through May 25.

American Airlines said it canceled a flight on Wednesday from John F. Kennedy Airport to Tel Aviv, and a flight from Tel Aviv to the airport Thursday. Customers have been booked on alternative flights, and the company also issued a travel waiver.

The cancellation of flights was first reported by Reuters.

At least 56 Palestinians have been killed since the violence began, including 14 children, Al Jazeera reportedciting Gaza’s ministry of health. Six Israelis have also been killed, including one child.

Hamas’s commander in Gaza City, Bassem Issa, was killed by an Israeli airstrike, the group said.

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The violence began after Hamas began launching hundreds of rockets from Gaza toward Tel Aviv.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE warned on Tuesday that Hamas "have paid, and will pay a heavy price” for the violence toward Israeli citizens.

The U.S., which has designated Hamas a terrorist organization, has condemned the violence in Israel, and is dispatching Hady Amr, deputy assistant secretary of State for Israeli and Palestinian affairs as part of efforts to deescalate tensions.