British Airways, United, Delta and American Airlines halt flights to Israel over fears of MH17-style disaster

BRITISH Airways, United, Delta and American Airlines have SUSPENDED flights to Israel over fears of an MH17-style disaster.

Aircrafts have been diverted from Tel Aviv's main airport and carriers have temporarily suspended flights to and from Ben Gurion airport.

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Incoming aircraft have been re-routed to Ramon airport in southern Israel as Hamas launched a series of deadly rockets through the skies.

The terror group claimed Ramon had also been targeted, but this was dismissed by Israeli officials.

Airlines decided to act amid fears the conflict could cause a repeat of the MH17 disaster, which was shot down in July 2014.

The jet was hit by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile, killing 298 passengers and crew – and leaders are keen to avoid a similar tragedy.

"The safety and security of our colleagues and customers is always our top priority, and we continue to monitor the situation closely," BA said in a statement.

The airline usually provides daily shuttles from Ben Gurion and London's Heathrow via a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, according to data from OAG Schedules Analyser.

Israel is one of the 12 countries to make the UK's "green list" for travel, an announcement which saw Brits book up flights.

US carriers United, Delta, and American Airlines were first to announce the cancellations, and have each issued a waiver regarding travel scheduled through to May 25.

Those who make the perilous trip have been warned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to "familiarise yourself with the safety actions that you should take in the event of a warning siren."

Customers will be offered a travel voucher or full refund, while some have offered up the chance of changing destinations.

Virgin Atlantic said passengers can rebook to travel up to April 30, 2023, with fees waivered.

The hostilities between Israel and Gaza continue to escalate, with the rivals using the skies as their war zone, by sending thousands of rockets to each area.

Hamas militants have reportedly begun launching "suicide drones" – packed with lethal explosives, that hover in search of a target before hastily attacking – according to Israeli media.

The military have downed each one launched so far, The Times of Israel reports.

Passenger jets caught in the deadly crossfire would be obliterated – and the situation on the ground isn't much better.

Israel has ignored Hamas' calls for a ceasefire and instead has deployed tanks and troops to the Gaza border and is threatening to invade the territory.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed the calls for calm, saying a bombing blitz will only "increase in force".

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