Lebanon national carrier halves flights amid fears of Israel war

BEIRUT: Lebanon‘s nationwide service Friday mentioned it was chopping greater than half of its flights as tensions alongside the border with Israel prompted extra Western international locations to warn in opposition to journey to Lebanon.
Since a Hamas assault on October 7 triggered conflict between Israel and the Gaza-based militants, the Lebanese-Israel border has seen close to each day tit-for-tat incidents involving Lebanon’s Hezbollah or Palestinian teams together with Hamas.
A minimum of 22 individuals have been killed on the Lebanese aspect, together with 4 civilians, sparking fears of a wider escalation.
On Friday, Mohammad El-Hout, chairman of Center East Airways (MEA), mentioned solely eight of the corporate’s 22 planes would function as of subsequent week, with the remainder of the fleet relocated to different airports.
“Greater than half of the corporate’s flights will probably be cancelled,” Hout mentioned throughout a televised interview from Beirut’s airport, which was knocked out throughout the 2006 conflict between Israel and Lebanon’s highly effective Hezbollah group.
The choice got here after adjustments to the corporate’s insurance coverage protection following the October 7 Hamas assault, he mentioned.
“Insurance coverage firms started to fret two or three days after” the Hamas assault, he informed reporters, explaining conflict threat protection was decreased.
Different airways, together with Swiss Worldwide Air Traces and Germany’s Lufthansa have already briefly suspended Beirut flights, as Western international locations urged their nationals to depart Lebanon.
On Friday, Belgium turned the most recent nation to situation a Lebanon journey advisory, following related strikes by america, Britain, France, Australia, Canada and different nations.
“As a result of unpredictability of the state of affairs, Belgians are requested to depart the nation as rapidly as doable,” mentioned a message posted on the embassy’s web site.
Israel has been pounding Gaza since October 7 when Hamas militants stormed into southern Israel killing at the very least 1,400 individuals, principally civilians who had been shot, mutilated or burnt to demise on the primary day of the raid, in response to Israeli officers.
Since then, greater than 4,100 Palestinians, primarily civilians, have been killed in relentless Israeli bombardments, in response to Gaza’s Hamas-run well being ministry.

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