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Hundreds Fly El Al to Immigrate from US to Israel During Gaza Crisis

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:52:33 +0000

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- In the wake of the fighting in Gaza, U.S. airlines temporarily grounded flights to Israel last month, but that hasn't stopped supporters in the West from traveling to and relocating there this summer.

More than 600 immigrants from the U.S. and Canada have flown on El Al Airlines, Israel's national carrier, in the last two months to relocate their families, serve in the military and show solidarity with the Israeli citizens, according to the airline.

"Of those, over 100 young men and women will serve in the Israel Defense Forces and a total of 37 families with 107 children from 27 states and three Canadian provinces were on board the latest flight that recently landed," a spokeswoman for El Al Airlines told ABC News.

Organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel and JNF-USA, charter flights that departed from JFK Airport in New York on July 21 and Aug. 11 were free to passengers moving to Israel. Future Aliyah group flights via El Al will continue to depart on a monthly basis out of Newark Airport in New Jersey.

Others who fly on alternate carriers to immigrate are given a flight credit from Nefesh B’Nefesh between $700 and $900 toward baggage and ticket fees.

The age of recent immigrants has ranged "from a 6-week-old baby to 93-year-old great-grandparent," the El Al spokeswoman said.

Representatives from Nefesh B’Nefesh did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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