American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have suspended flights to Israel amid rising violence in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza, and Palestinian militants in Gaza fired rockets at targets in Israel, including the main airport in Tel Aviv.

United Airlines canceled flights from Chicago, Newark and San Francisco through Saturday. A spokeswoman said United will let customers booked on Tel Aviv flights through May 25 change their itineraries without paying a higher fare.

American Airlines canceled its daily flight from New York to Tel Aviv on Wednesday and Thursday and offered to put passengers on flights at later dates, according to an airline spokesman. Delta canceled flights from New York to Tel Aviv through Thursday.

Company representatives said the airlines were monitoring the situation for when they might resume the flights.

► Israel, Hamas escalate heavy fighting: At least 53 Palestinians, 6 Israelis killed

► Fears of a ‘full scale war’: Biden administration dispatches envoy to Middle East

President Joe Biden faces growing pressure to help stem the violence and heightened international alarm over the spiraling death toll. The United Nations’ special coordinator for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, warned on Wednesday that the situation “is escalating toward full scale war.” 

More than 80 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, including 17 children and seven women, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, and another 480 people have been wounded. Hamas, the Islamic militant group that seized power in Gaza in 2007, acknowledged that a top commander and several other militants were among the dead. 

Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY

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