Hamas Rocket Aimed at Israel's Eilat Airport Misses, but Operations Temporarily Halted

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Israel's Ramon Airport.
Israel's Ramon Airport.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkowitz

Israel's southern Eilat Ramon Airport briefly suspended operations on Thursday, after Hamas said it fired rockets at the area. No damage or casualties were reported.

An Israeli official confirmed the airport had not been targeted by Palestinian rocket fire and was operating as usual. Palestinian rocket fire and was operating as usual. The regional council near the airport said a rocket exploded north of its jurisdiction, an in open area dozens of kilometers from any settlement.

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The Hamas military wing said in a statement it launched a new type of rocket with a range covering all of Israel's territory.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel redirected some flights to Ramon Airport from its main Tel Aviv-area airport, Ben-Gurion, due to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas rocket aimed at Ramon Airport exploded in an open area in the western part of the Eilot Regional Council, considerably far from all communities and therefore rocket alerts did not sound in the area. 

Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the Hamas military wing, said that the group's leader, Mohammed Def, ordered the launch of the new "Ayyash" rocket, in a bid to get international airlines to halt all flights in and out of Israel.

"This is the most powerful rocket Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades have, and this the response to the assassination of senior Hamas officials," Ubaida says.   

Earlier on Thursday, major airlines from Europe and the U.S. have cancelled flights to Israel in light of the deteriorating security situation with the Gaza Strip.

As more than 1,300 missiles targeted the center of the country, Delta, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Iberia, Austrian Airlines, and British Airways have all announced that their flights will be put on hold.

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