Netanyahu Suspends All Flights from US to Israel as Trump Threatens Sanctions on Blocking Travel

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the suspension of all flights “from the US and other commercial flights” to Israel until all travelers arriving into the country are able to be taken to state-run quarantine hotels for a 14-day period by the Home Front Command.

According to the Prime minister’s office on Saturday, flights already destined for Israel will be permitted to land but no new flights will be allowed until a solution has been arranged.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contacted Minister of Transport Bezalel Smutrich, and decided to halt the flight from the US and other commercial flights until a Cabinet meeting can be held to determine all persons returning from abroad be quarantined at designated hotels under responsibility of the ministry of defence,” the official government statement read.

The move follows a case where a United Airlines flight from New York arrived at Ben Gurion airport on Saturday morning despite the lockdown.

Around 80 passengers on the flight were allowed to leave the airport without precautionary temperatures checks or questions on their state of health and where they have been, mandatory procedure for all arrivals, according to The Times of Israel.

U.S. President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Only seven passengers from the New York flight were transferred to state-run quarantine hotels in line with an order by Netanyahu last week.

While the Health Ministry has said that it would prefer all passengers to be taken to quarantine hotels, those who could prove they could self-isolate have been permitted to leave on their own due to “legal and procedural complications, as cited by the Defense Ministry, in forcibly quarantining those who can independently self-isolate.

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