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Gaza Strip Fighting Prompts Cancellation Of US Flights To Israel

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Conflict in the Middle East. The fighting in Israel and the Gaza Strip is so dangerous it’s now having a worldwide impact. The FAA has grounded US flights into Israel, cutting off thousands of people from the country. Meanwhile, the death toll continues to rise, with more than 600 Palestinians and two dozen Israeli soldiers killed.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the impact.

The FAA issued a 24-hour ban on US flights in and out of Tel Aviv and many European airlines have followed suit.

Passengers inside the airport in Tel Aviv ran for cover as bomb sirens sounded. A Hamas rocket landed just one mile from the airport Tuesday. Now the FAA has ordered US carriers to stop flying in and out of Tel Aviv, citing a potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza. The order has left thousands of passengers stranded.

“I just got an email saying the flight is canceled,” said Shawn Goldstone, a stranded traveler.

“We’re not really in a position to judge whether the security threat was large enough or not substantial enough,” said Daniel Leon, another stranded traveler.

A Delta flight out of New York headed to Tel Aviv that was in the air at the time was diverted to Paris. Cell phone video shows the passengers on the flight getting off the plane. Among them was the family of Jordan Low—the Baltimore man was fighting as part of the Israeli defense forces when he was injured in a rocket attack. His family was traveling to be by his side. WJZ has learned the Low family has gotten another flight out of Paris into Tel Aviv.

It was in Tel Aviv where Jill Max experienced the violence first hand. She was rushed into a bomb shelter minutes after her arrival in Israel. She just returned to Maryland.

“The citizens of Israel are living under threat every day and it made me really understand what life is like on a daily basis,” Max said.

FAA officials say they will reassess the flight ban on Wednesday.

Some US carriers warn flights to Israel will be canceled until further notice.

Local officials say many Marylanders who are trying to fly out of Israel are booking flights on El Al Israeli Airlines, which is still operating out of Tel Aviv.

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