Israel’s military is planning to allow air travel to Israeli civilians on military aircraft.
Passengers of Israeli’s Kitzmiller B-52 bombers stationed at KibBUTZ in the Negev desert will be allowed to travel to the West Bank or Gaza via Tel Aviv airport, the military announced Thursday.
Military spokesman Lt.
Col. Peter Lerner said the plan is based on “an international consensus,” but said it was not clear when such a consensus would emerge.
“This is not something that is currently being considered, but the army has a policy of not commenting on policy decisions until we know what international consensus will be in the coming days,” he told Israel Radio.
A few hours earlier, a senior Israeli official told reporters that the military was “considering” a decision on allowing civilian flights, but declined to give details.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government was “evaluating the possibility” of allowing civilian airlines to operate in Israel.
Israel is preparing to expand its presence in the Westbank, Gaza and beyond, in preparation for a possible ground invasion.
The move, which will allow Israel to expand the Gaza border and increase the military’s footprint on the occupied Palestinian territory, is part of a broader expansion of Israel.
In recent months, Israeli troops have entered Palestinian towns and cities in the Gaza Strip, seizing weapons and other goods.
The IDF says it has intercepted more than 3,000 rockets and mortar shells in the past week, according to the Israeli military.
Israel is seeking to destroy rocket launchers and tunnels in the occupied West Bank, and in the east of the country, in an effort to deter a possible Palestinian military takeover of Jerusalem.
Palestinians have been demanding the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West, including from the Gaza strip.
Israeli authorities have said they will only take action in accordance with international law, but have not elaborated on that principle.
Israeli troops are already on the ground in Gaza, and soldiers are patrolling the Gaza-Israel border in preparation of an imminent ground invasion, but Israeli authorities have not provided details on the plans for what might happen next.
A senior Israeli government official said Israel was considering the possibility of allowing civilians to fly on military planes to the Palestinian territories.
The decision will depend on the international consensus on allowing flights to travel on military jets, the official said, speaking as he was on the plane en route to Tel Aviv from the Kib butz.