As U.S. carriers cancel most scheduled flights for this week, travel agent warns that religious travelers should expect to spend another week in Israel due to Shabbat, Shavuot holiday
Ben Gurion Airport
Ben-Gurion International Airport (in Hebrew, Namal Hate'ufa Ben-Gurion, or Natbag) is the main international airport of the State of Israel. Built in 1936 during the British Mandate, the airport was named Wilhelma Airport; its name was changed to Lod Airport with the creation of Israel in 1948, and in 1973 it was remained Ben-Gurion Airport in honor of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who died that year.
The airport is located some 15 kilometers from Tel Aviv, and handles more than 11 million passengers every year. It falls under the control of the state's Israel Airports Authority. El Al Airlines, Israel’s flag carrier, began operating out of the airport in 1948, and to this day uses Ben-Gurion as its home base.
During the 1948 War on Independence, Ben-Gurion Airport was taken over by the Israeli army and all civilian activity was relocated to a nearby field. In July 1948, authority over the airport was transferred to Israel's Ministry of Transportation and in November 1949 the airport reopened with the arrival of the first flight by a Czech airliner.
The 1960s saw the need for the airport to update its runways to accommodate new aircrafts and there was an increase in the number of foreign airlines routinely operating from the airport. Domestic flights from Ben-Gurion ceased and were moved to a smaller field near Tel Aviv until a new internal flights terminal was inaugurated in 1969.
The airport received a billion-dollar facelift in 2004, with the opening of Terminal 3, which replaced Terminal 1 as the primary departure and arrival point for international flights.
Ben-Gurion is known as one of the world’s safest airports, with a high level of security provided by the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Police, and undercover agents. Passengers departing and entering the airport are subject to rigorous security checks, many of which have been adopted internationally.
David Ben-Gurion's journals, written between 1948 and 1953, expose many secrets: having Mizrahi Jews surveilled, trying to get Palestinian refugees to leave and detailing rapes committed by soldiers are just a few of them
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: Two Jewish men, an American and an Israeli , with a special connection to their religion
A Health Ministry proposal also seeks to bar Israelis from traveling to India, Brazil, Turkey, Ukraine, South Africa, Ethiopia and Mexico, fearing outbreak of new coronavirus strains
Airlines are slating flights in anticipation of May 23 start date. ‘We think Tel Aviv will outperform the rest of the transatlantic market,' said American Airlines' vice president of network and schedule planning
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COVID strain fears stall green light for Israel's tourism industry to fully reopen
Cabinet removes some COVID restrictions to let citizens return to the country and vote, but keeps 3,000-person cap on daily arrivals
Israel tells High Court it will reopen skies to flights from all locations, while keeping the daily quota to 3,000 people and mandating self-isolation to limit spread of new coronavirus variants
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Anyone not vaccinated, including children, who wishes to leave the country, must still obtain permission from authorities
Many were surprised to be allowed onto flight as Israel's coronavirus rules changed rapidly after numerous cancellations
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: A therapist who treats children with autism via Zoom, and a globe-trotter who brings water infrastructure to cities that may not have it yet
In another case, Reform Jews push for equal enforcement of coronavirus restrictions at schools
The logjam was broken thanks to a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a charity that helps facilitate immigration to Israel
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Sources in Haredi factions say they’ve dealt with hundreds of applications from secular and Arab Israelis to the Exceptions Committee that permits entry to Israel
4,800 foreign nationals allowed in during same period, as nearly 1,000 requests to enter or leave the country for medical reasons have yet to be decided upon
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A governmental plan set to go into effect next week slashes the number of Israelis allowed to return from abroad from 2,000 a day to 200