U.S. lifts Tel Aviv flight ban
The U.S. aviation authority lifted a ban previously imposed on American flights to Israel on Wednesday, warning of a “very fluid situation” amid ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip.
“The FAA has lifted its restrictions on U.S. airline flights into and out of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport by cancelling a Notice to Airmen it renewed earlier today,” the agency said in a statement, hours before the ban was due to expire.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had imposed the ban on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas members from Gaza struck a house north of Israel’s main Tel Aviv airport.
Numerous European airliners cancelled flights to the Israeli capital.
Prior the decision, the FAA said it was working with the U.S. government to assess the security situation in Israel and “carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation.”
The FAA said it would “continue to closely monitor the very fluid situation around Ben Gurion Airport and will take additional actions, as necessary.”
Israel warned of the economic impact of the airliners’ ban, saying that it would be a win for Hamas, who hailed the flights’ suspension as a “great victory.”
At least 718 Palestinians were killed in 17 days of bloodshed in Gaza. A local rights group said more than 80 percent of these were civilians.
In Israel, a total of 32 soldiers and two civilians have been killed since the start of Israel’s ground operations in Gaza in July 17.