FAA Suspends All U.S. Flights to Israel for 24 Hours

The advisory applies only to U.S. airlines.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
July 22, 2014, 9:10 a.m.

The Fed­er­al Avi­ation Ad­min­is­tra­tion has sus­pen­ded all U.S. flights to Is­rael for at least 24 hours.

The of­fi­cial ad­vis­ory Thursday came not long after two ma­jor U.S. air­lines — Delta and Amer­ic­an — de­cided to sus­pend their flights to Is­rael in­de­pend­ent of FAA in­struc­tions. Earli­er Tues­day, a rock­et fired from the Ga­za Strip landed about one mile from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gur­i­on In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port. Ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press, the rock­et dam­aged a house and in­jured one in Ye­hud, a Tel Aviv sub­urb.

The FAA ad­vis­ory reads:

The no­tice was is­sued in re­sponse to a rock­et strike which landed ap­prox­im­ately one mile from Ben Gur­i­on In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port on the morn­ing … [and] ap­plies only to U.S. op­er­at­ors, and has no au­thor­ity over for­eign air­lines op­er­at­ing to or from the air­port

After the rock­et landed near the air­port, Delta di­ver­ted a flight en route to Tel Aviv and landed the plane in Par­is. The U.S. State De­part­ment is­sued a travel ad­vis­ory Monday for Amer­ic­ans in Is­rael. “The De­part­ment of State re­com­mends that U.S. cit­izens con­sider the de­fer­ral of non-es­sen­tial travel to Is­rael and the West Bank and re­af­firms the long­stand­ing strong warn­ing to U.S. cit­izens against any travel to the Ga­za Strip,” the no­tice read.

In­ter­na­tion­al air­lines are now start­ing to ground flights to the coun­try as well. Ac­cord­ing to CNN, Ger­many’s Lufthansa has sus­pen­ded flights to Tel Aviv. These can­cel­la­tions are com­ing just sev­er­al days after a pas­sen­ger jet­liner was shot down over Ukraine, in­creas­ing in­ter­na­tion­al ten­sions. That flight, Malay­sia Air­lines Flight 17, was trav­el­ing through an area with no in­ter­na­tion­al re­stric­tions, and its down­ing has raised ques­tions about wheth­er com­mer­cial air­lines should fly over con­flict zones.

In a state­ment earli­er Tues­day, be­fore the FAA an­nounced its sus­pen­sion, Is­rael Trans­port Min­is­ter Yis­rael Katz said keep­ing flights out of his coun­try was an over­re­ac­tion. “There is no reas­on for these com­pan­ies to stop flights,” he said. “They have giv­en a prize to ter­ror.”

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