FAA Bars U.S. Airlines From Flying To Israel

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The FAA ordered U.S. airlines to stop all flights to Tel Aviv until Wednesday afternoon after a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed within a mile of Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday. Airlines in other countries followed suit and some say they have suspended flights indefinitely. However, the Israeli government is urging the governments and airlines to reconsider, saying its Iron Dome missile defense system is working and inviting officials from other countries, especially the U.S., to review security measures at the airport.

Meanwhile, it's business as usual for El Al, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he was hopping the Tuesday flight in a show of solidarity for Israel. He said the flight ban by the U.S. played into the hands of Hamas, which has been locked in a bitter conflict with Israel for two weeks and fired more than 200 rockets at Israeli territory. "This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel," Bloomberg said in a statement. "Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world and El Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely. The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the FAA to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel."