Mass protests in Israel cause delays and cancellations at Tel Aviv airport

Agustín Miguens

Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv Israel

The massive protests that broke out in Israel late on Sunday led to the temporary suspension of most flights from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV), the country’s largest terminal.

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Delays and cancellations at Israel’s largest airport due to mass protests

Israeli media had reported that operations would not resume until further notice. However, many flights took off with delays during the morning and early afternoon, while others were cancelled for good.

The situation is part of a widespread strike by the General Union of Israeli Workers, the country’s largest trade union, in protest against the judicial reform pushed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration.

Last night, hundreds of thousands of citizens filled the streets of Israel following the dismissal of Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, who the previous day had demonstrated against the government’s proposed reform. Demonstrators again took to the streets of the country’s major cities today, while different sectors went on strike.

“I have ordered the immediate suspension of take-offs at the airport”, said Pinjas Idan, chairman of the Israel Airports Authority workers’ committee. While aircraft already en route could land normally, all departures were temporarily interrupted.

Minimum services and possible cancellations throughout the day

Idan explained that the airport is operating with “minimum services” and that they are working to contain the situation and avoid further chaos. According to statements to CNN by Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the public company that manages the country’s civilian airports, some 70.000 passengers were expected at Ben Gurion on Monday.

Currently, municipal workers, employees in the high-tech sector, workers at shopping centres, health centres and universities, among others, are participating in the protests.

A number of flights are likely to be affected throughout the day. However, a hypothetical announcement of a halt to the reform could bring the situation back to normal.

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