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FAA extends ban on U.S. airlines flying to Tel Aviv for up to 24 hours

FAA extends ban on U.S. airlines flying to Tel Aviv for up to 24 hours

The Federal Aviation Administration has extended its ban on U.S. airlines flying to Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport for up to 24 hours.

The ban, which was ordered Tuesday morning, came after a rocket struck about a mile from the airport in Tel Aviv. 

The ban is applicable only to U.S. carriers, although many other airlines also terminated service to Tel Aviv on Tuesday. 

"The agency is working closely with the government of Israel to review the significant new information they have provided and determine whether potential risks to U.S. civil aviation are mitigated so the agency can resolve concerns as quickly as possible," an FAA statement said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said he would fly to Israel as a show of support for the nation and in protest of the FAA's ban. John Kerry landed at the airport Wednesday.

At a press briefing Wednesday, the State Department confirmed that rockets had landed near the Tel Aviv airport. Spokesmen said they were still determining whether Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, possesses heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles such as the that downed a Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine. 

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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