Tel Aviv’s main airport came under sustained rocket fire on Tuesday night as Hamas militants fired volleys of rockets from Gaza towards Israel’s most populous city. All flight traffic was stopped by aviation authorities at the height of the attack and planes heading to Ben Gurion were diverted out over the Medieterrnean Sea and left to circle while the waited for the airport to reopen.
An unverified video which purports to have been filmed in the secure airside area of Ben Gurion airport shows Israel’s sophisticated Iron Dome missile defence system intercepting a slew of rockets as they fly close to the airport.
The Israeli Defence Force did not report any breach of the Iron Dome system around Ben Gurion airport. There were no reported injuries and operations at the airport have since restarted.
In another video taken by a passenger at the airport, travellers are seen scrambling for cover as air raid sirens wail in the background warning of an impending rocket attack. An attack on Tel Aviv is seen as a major escalation in the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already promised to reintensify retaliatory airstrikes on Hamas posts in Gaza. Those strikes have already claimed scores of Palestinian lives including children. On Tuesday, Israel reported a number of injuries and at least one death amongst its civilian population as a direct result of the Hamas attack.
Flights that had to be diverted as a result of the rocket attack on Ben Gurion airport included an Iberia operated Airbus A330 aircraft from Madrid. Meanwhile, a flydubai aircraft was forced to circle over the West Bank before finally being cleared to land.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.