Sunday, May 5, 2013

 

Israel cancels civil flights in north amid tensions with Syria, Lebanon


JERUSALEM, May 5- The Israeli Defense Forces announced Sunday that it would shut down civil air traffic in northern Israel until Thursday.

The decision came amid escalating tensions between Israel and its northern neighbors, Syria and Lebanon, over the alleged Israeli airstrikes against missile caches near the Syrian capital Damascus on early Friday and Sunday.

Israel's airline Arkia on Sunday canceled nearly ten flights between the northern city of Haifa and the Red Sea port city of Eilat.

Israel did not release any official statement regarding the attacks on Syrian military facilities. But officials speaking on condition of anonymity with foreign media outlets, confirmed early Saturday that Israeli jets struck a shipment of missiles destined for Hezbollah in the early time of Friday.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the Israeli military deployed two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in two northern cities of Haifa and Safed, due to the escalating tension.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad has told CNN that the alleged Israeli strikes were a "declaration of war."

Damascus also said Israel's Sunday attack "opens the door widely before all eventualities."

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