Israel’s southern resort town of Eilat is on full lockdown Tuesday, in protest of the government's decision to close down a Tel Aviv airport from which many internal flights leave for the city. Sde Dov Airport is scheduled to be shuttered on July 1.
Border crossings, the airport, the Egged public bus company, municipality services, government offices and shopping areas, as well as most schools, are on strike until 2 P.M. local time.
Attorney General instructed Netanyahu earlier this week to refrain from any decision concerning the airport, given the upcoming elections.
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In January, Israel opened the Ilan and Asaf Ramon Airport in Timna in the southern Negev. The airport is named after the Israeli astronaut who died in the 2002 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and his son, an Air Force pilot who died in a training crash.
It covers 5,000 dunams (1,250 acres) and boasts a 45,000 square-meter terminal. Its runway is 3,600 meters long – enough to handle even jumbo jets. Up to 60 wide- and narrow-body jets can park at the airport at the same time.
Eilat has been chosen by the New York Times for its list of "52 Places to Go in 2019." Ranked 6th on the list, it outplaces such global tourist destinations as New York, which is No. 31, and Hong Kong, which was ranked 44th.
In its description of Eilat, in addition to "the prismatic waters of this Red Sea resort on Israel’s southern tip" and its "coral reef with hundreds of varieties of neon fish, sharks and stingrays," the Times highlights the scheduled opening of new hotels and the new airport.