US Deploys F-18 Fighter Jets To Saudi Arabia As Israel-Palestine Conflict Escalates

The United States Air Forces Central Command announced on Thursday that F-18 fighter jets were deployed to Saudi Arabia to promote security and stability amid the escalating violence in the Middle East.

“F/A-18D Hornet aircraft deployed to @378AEW [378th Air Expeditionary Wing at Prince Sultan Air Base], Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this week as part of a dynamic force employment to enhance @CENTCOM’s [US Central Command] ability to deter aggression and promote security and stability within the CENTCOM​ area of responsibility,” USAFCENT wrote on Twitter.

Israel-Palestine Conflict: UPDATES

* At least 1,600 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the escalation, around 400 of which fell inside the Palestinian enclave, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Jonathan Conricus said on Thursday.

* The Israeli army has launched attacks on around 600 military targets belonging to radical movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Conricus, said on Thursday. According to the IDF, these include strategic buildings belonging to Hamas.

* The Israeli army is engaged in preparations for a land operation in the Gaza Strip, but no order to start carrying out this offensive has been made so far, Conricus said on Thursday.

* The number of people, who were killed by the Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, has risen to 67, the enclave’s Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

*Authorities of Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport decided on Thursday to reroute all incoming flights to the Ramon airport in the country’s south amid the continued attacks from the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported.

Earlier, American Airlines canceled flights to Tel Aviv for Wednesday and Thursday due to the escalation of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories, a company spokesperson told Sputnik on Wednesday.

“American Airlines canceled flights to and from Tel Aviv today and tomorrow,” the spokesperson said.

Since Monday evening, Israel and the Gaza Strip have exchanged hundreds of rockets that caused fatalities on both sides. The escalation follows days of clashes in East Jerusalem over an Israeli court’s decision to side with Jewish settlers requesting the eviction of several Palestinian families from their homes in the city’s neighborhood.