Palestinian Airport in Gaza Reopens
The Palestinian international airport in the Gaza Strip reopened on Tuesday morning after being shut by Israel at the end of the last month for the third time since the eruption of Israeli-Palestinian violence, aviation officials said.
However, airport director general Suleiman Abu Halib said the reopening was partial, with Israel only permitting flights between the hours of 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and 5 p.m. (1500 GMT).
"This is against Israeli-Palestinian protocol which allows flights 24 hours a day," Abu Halib told AFP.
He said the first flight, a Palestinian Airlines plane to Amman, took off at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT).
Yasser Arafat International Airport was shut down between October 8 and 18, again for the day on October 23 and again on October 31.
The airport, situated at Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, was opened in November 1998 and is seen by Palestinians as one of the major symbols of their aspirations for an independent state – GAZA CITY (AFP)
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