Most overseas flights to Israel cancelled

Several North American and European airlines have cancelled their flights in and out of Israel.

FILE: Israeli soldiers sitting on a tank hold their position on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip on 22 July as smoke billows from the coastal Palestinian enclave. Picture: AFP.

TEL AVIV - Several North American and European airlines have cancelled their flights in and out of Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport.

It comes after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near the airport on Tuesday.

There are still planes landing, but after the American Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice prohibiting all American airlines from flying to or from Israel for a period of 24 hours, other international carriers have followed suit.

Earlier this month, Hamas warned international airlines not to fly to Israel, saying it would target the airport.

Several rockets heading towards Israel's main Airport have been intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system in recent days, but Tuesday's landing was the closest so far.

Gaza's Health Ministry said 18 Palestinians were killed on Wednesday, many of them in the southern town of Khan Younis, one of the focal points of Israel's recent assault.

The rocket damaged a house and injured one Israel.

The Israeli transport ministry is urging airlines to reverse their decision, insisting that flights in and out of Ben-Gurion airport are safe and guarded.

Hamas says it will keep fighting until its demands are met, including the release of several hundred supporters recently arrested in the West Bank and a freeing up of Gaza's borders.

Adding to the enclave's woes, residents said Israel shelled their power plant which provides electricity to half the people of Gaza.

Electricity supplies from Israel were hit last week, with Israel saying militant rockets had damaged infrastructure.