British Airways flight 164 paused on the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. The Boeing 777 awaited final clearance for takeoff when the alert came over the phone. The “Red Alert” app screams with an alarm whenever Israel detects a rocket launched from Gaza. The alert read: “Rockets Launched: Tel Aviv.”
Just a week earlier, a similar rocket was allowed to land near an open field near the country’s only international airport, prompting the American Federal Aviation Administration to order U.S. carriers to halt all flights.
A few minutes after the latest rocket warning, BA 164 took off as planned. There would be no closing of the airport this time. The Iron Dome defense system worked. Not long after, however, another rocket was fired into the city of Kiryat Gat. This time, it got through. A house was destroyed and a civilian killed.