Smartwings to resume flights to Tel Aviv suspended after Hamas attack in October

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-01-17   08:14

Smartwings will resume flights from Prague to Tel Aviv from February 1. The connection between the two cities was suspended last October after Palestinian gunmen from the radical Hamas movement attacked Israel. The flights will initially operate four times a week, on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. From March, the company plans to increase the number of flights between Prague and Tel Aviv to seven a week. Smartwings spokeswoman Vladimíra Dufková told ČTK today.

The Czech Foreign Ministry says on its website that "due to the terrorist and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on the southern and central part of Israel" it recommends travelling to the country only in absolutely necessary cases, monitoring local media and respecting the instructions of the security forces. "Smartwings continues to closely monitor the security situation in Israel and is in close contact with local authorities," Dufkova stressed today.

Following the Hamas attack on Israel, Smartwings dispatched a special flight from Tel Aviv to Prague the very next day, October 8, 2023, the spokeswoman recalled. On board were Smartwings employees and Czech citizens. "The company also operated many special flights after the outbreak of the conflict, for example, it participated in the evacuation of British and Hungarian citizens from Israel," Dufková added.

The current conflict between Israel and Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, has lasted more than 100 days. Palestinian gunmen infiltrated the Israeli border area on 7 October, where they massacred 1 200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped 240 people in the Gaza Strip. Some 130 hostages are still being held, some of whom are apparently no longer alive. In response to this attack, Israel launched a massive bombardment of the Gaza Strip and subsequently a ground operation. According to the Hamas-led authorities there, over 24 000 Palestinians, including members of the radical movement, have lost their lives in this offensive.

Source: Smartwings and CTK