Hamas-Israel Attack: Rising Crises, Ceased Flights & Stranded Citizens 

Hamas is an Islamist organization with a military branch that was created in 1987. Later in the 1920s, it was established in Egypt. Since 1948, Israeli and Palestinian relations have been tense. During various instances, the decade-long rivalry between the two groups has resulted in thousands of deaths and numerous injuries. 

On Saturday morning, i.e. 06 October 2023, Hamas attacked Israel. With this attack, many people died while numerous others were injured. Also, multiple airlines stopped services to Israel. In order to secure and raise the understanding of security issues, Americans in Israel can abide by local government instructions. 

Why did Hamas Attack Israel?

The Hamas-Israel attack was a retaliation for assaults on women, the destruction of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and the continued blockade of Gaza, according to Muhammad Al-Deif, the military chief of Hamas. 

Hamas claimed to have seized Israeli troops and posted videos of them on their social media pages. The videos that CNN geolocated, as well as verified, appeared to show at least 1 Israeli soldier being held captive. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) released the names of the 44 soldiers it claims were killed in the attack. 

The next day, Hamas claimed in a statement that it still had militants in Southern Israeli cities. They were involved in rocket fires in the towns of Yad Mordechai, Yated, Ofakim, Kissufim, Sderot, Be’eri, and Kfar Aza. 

What Happened during the Hamas-Israel Attack? 

On Saturday, nearly 06:30 A.M. local time, when most citizens were probably still asleep, rockets were fired over Israel. Also, alarms could be heard as far away as the Tel Aviv region. The IDF said that militants from Gaza later invaded Israel by land, air, and sea. Some of these were flying paragliders. 

About 2200 rockets were launched at Israel, according to the IDF. Hamas estimated the number to be 5000. To put that in perspective, during the 50-day conflict between the two sides in 2014, almost 4,000 rockets were shot from Gaza into Israel. 

How has Israel Reacted to the Hamas Attack? 

In retaliation to the assault, Israel began “Operations Swords of Iron”. It attacked several locations in the Gaza strip. Netanyahu said that Israel will exact a higher price from Hamas for the same. In order to ensure their safety, the IDF encouraged people in Gaza to evacuate their homes right away as Israeli operations kept targeting Hamas. 

The sound of Israeli airplanes roaring overhead was followed by thunderous explosions. Additionally, plumes of black smoke within Gaza were seen. In Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that at least 313 people including 20 children died over the course of 24 hours. There were also 1990 people with injuries.

Located in Lebanon, the Hezbollah organization, which is backed by Iran, took credit for employing artillery and missiles to attack three Israeli installations in the Shebaa Farms neighborhood in the North. Lebanon views the region as being occupied by Israel. 

Is There a Ban on Travel to Israel? 

On Saturday, a warning to “use caution” when traveling through Israeli airspace was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. It was issued to American Airlines and pilots. Following the turmoil, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) sent pilots a notice that said “potentially hazardous situation”.

Which Airlines have Grounded their Flights? 

After the Hamas attack in Israel on Saturday, a number of airlines, including United and American, briefly halted travel to and from Tel Aviv. This is due to the attack between Hamas and Israel. 

  • United Airlines is a safe carrier with the goal to ensure the well-being of its personnel and travelers. 
  • It constantly observes the situation and makes necessary adjustments to the flight itineraries. 
  • On Sunday, all flight operations to Tel Aviv will cease until the situation improves. 
  • American Airlines will keep an eye on the situation with security in mind. 
  • This weekend, Delta Airlines, also postponed flights into and out of this city. 
  • Delta is trying to safely move individuals back to the United States. 
  • Also, it will collaborate with the U.S. authorities as needed.
  • At Ben Gurion International Airport, roughly 16% of flights have been canceled. 
  • In addition, 23% of flights have been delayed. 

How to Leave Israel? 

It is important to remain out of the Hamas-Israel attack. For this purpose, the State Department advised Americans living in Israel to heed the local government’s recommendations for their safety and increased awareness. Citizens in need of assistance should submit the crisis intake form to get in touch with the American embassy that is closest to them. 

Prior to arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, individuals should check the status of the border crossing. Also, they should make sure that no planes have been canceled. 

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