British Airways flight from London to Tel Aviv is diverted due to security concerns in Israel after the Hamas attack: the plane had almost reached its destination before turning back
A British Airways flight from London to Israel had to turn back shortly before reaching the country’s capital for safety reasons.
The BA165 flight had almost reached Tel Aviv when it was forced to change course back to London Heathrow as Hamas launched a new wave of rocket attacks.
A BA spokesman said: “Safety is always our top priority and we have made the decision to return our Tel Aviv flight to Heathrow.”
A spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority said rockets were flying around Tel Aviv at the time but did not pose an immediate threat to the flight or Ben Gurion Airport.
The diversion back to the UK was the pilot’s decision and no other flights were diverted, the spokesman said.
Since the terrorist group Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, many international airlines have suspended their flights to Tel Aviv.
The BA165 flight (not pictured) had almost reached Tel Aviv when it was forced to return to London Heathrow for security reasons
This came after Hamas launched a new wave of rocket attacks on Israel, which included the bombing of a child development center (pictured: smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City).
BA, owned by IAG, said on Monday that it was monitoring the situation in Israel very closely but would continue to operate some flights.
Flight tracking website Flightradar showed the flight had almost reached Tel Aviv.
This comes after Hamas launched a new wave of rocket attacks on Israel across southern Israel, including on a child development center, as Gaza holds its breath as the Israel Defense Forces deploy hundreds of thousands of troops along the border.
Shocking images and videos from the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon reportedly showed the child development wing of the Barzilai Medical Center suffering a direct hit that reduced parts of the building to rubble.
A spokeswoman for the center said: “The child development center at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon was directly hit by a projectile from Gaza,” while deputy director Dr. Gili Givati told Israel Public Broadcasting: “The development center has been completely destroyed.”‘