El Al Israel Airlines announces that for the first time since 1982, it will fly on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, to bring back Israelis called up for emergency military reserve duty as well as security and rescue forces stranded abroad.
Israel’s national airline says it is preparing to operate flights this Saturday from the US and Asia to help bring back Israeli army reservists whose return to the country is vital during the current war with the Hamas terror group.
Reserve soldiers will be flying back on Saturday free of charge on two Boeing 787 aircraft leaving from New York and Bangkok. The cost of the flights will be borne by El Al and large US financial institutions, El Al says in a statement.
El Al says breaking its decades-long policy of not flying on the Jewish Sabbath has received halachic approval as the rescue flights are considered part of what is known in Hebrew as pikuah nefesh — the Jewish legal principle that saving a life trumps nearly all other religious requirements.