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British Airways flight turns back to London just before landing in Tel Aviv

By Eve Brennan, CNN

(CNN) — A British Airways flight from London to Tel Aviv made an abrupt U-turn shortly before it was due land in the Israeli city on Wednesday as the airline canceled all flights to the destination amid safety concerns.

Flight BA165 from London’s Heathrow Airport was on the approach to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport when it was recalled to its original destination, according to the FlightRadar24 airplane tracking website.

British Airways confirmed to CNN that the flight was turned around shortly before it was due to land in the northern Israeli city, which has come under rocket fire as intense fighting rages between Israel forces and Hamas.

The airline said it had halted services to and from Tel Aviv as of late Wednesday.

“Safety is always our highest priority and following the latest assessment of the situation, we’re suspending our flights to and from Tel Aviv,” it said in a statement to CNN.

The airline said it was contacting customers booked to travel to or from Tel Aviv to apologize for the disruption and to offer options including refunds or rebooking with other airlines.

“We continue to monitor the situation in the region closely.” British Airways did not say when flights would resume.

What other airlines are doing

Numerous other international airlines with connections to Tel Aviv have suspended services as attacks have escalated.

Virgin Atlantic and US carriers including Delta, United and American Airlines have all canceled flights or codeshare services in recent days.

Meanwhile, many countries have added special repatriation flights to airlift their citizens out of Israel.

CNN’s Barry Neild contributed to this report

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