Swiss International Air Lines said Friday it was suspending its repatriation flights from Israel until further notice, citing an expected Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. SWISS said it was cancelling two special flights from Tel Aviv to Zurich, scheduled for Saturday, to evacuate Swiss nationals. Israel on Friday gave Palestinians 24 hours to leave Gaza City. “We must therefore expect the… Israeli ground offensive,” SWISS said in a statement. “With the risk of a new escalation between the different parties to the conflict increasing sharply, the reliability and safety of flights with our crews and passengers are increasingly threatened. “SWISS came to the conclusion that the continuation of flights was not justifiable until further notice”. Saturday’s cancelled flights were organised at the request of the Swiss foreign ministry SWISS operated a daily flight each way between Zurich and Tel Aviv before the Hamas militant group launched the deadliest attack in Israel’s history. Thousands of Palestinians fled to southern Gaza in search of refuge Friday after Israel warned them to evacuate the north before an expected ground offensive against Hamas in retaliation. SWISS has already repatriated several hundred people from Israel on special flights. The fourth was due to land in Zurich late Friday.