UPDATED: The war between Israel and the Palestinian organization Hamas prompted Norwegian Air to cancel all its flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Tel Aviv this week. On Tuesday the airline extended the cancellations through December 19.
“We’ll contact passengers who are affected directly, and will continue to work towards finding a solution for passengers who are in Israel,” a spokesperson for Norwegian Air told news bureau NTB.
Norway’s foreign ministry sharpened its travel advisories to Israel and Palestinian areas after war broke out during the weekend. All travel to Israel was discouraged unless absolutely necessary, with the ministry calling the security situation “serious and unpredictable” after the Palestinian organization Hamas attacked Israel from Gaza. Israel responded by declaring war on Hamas.
Travel to Gaza, Nablus and Jenin on the West Bank was especially discouraged, also to the rest of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The ministry has registered around 500 Norwegians currently in Israel and around 70 in Palestinian areas, but said it had “limited possibilities” to offer them assistance in leaving Israel. In some cases tour operators were trying to charter flights out of the country, but then Hamas warned of missile strikes against the main Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.
The foreign ministry has set up a crisis team in an effort to help Norwegians leave Israel, but with little success as of Tuesday afternoon. It was still urging those trying to get home to contact their airline or their travel insurance carriers.