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FAA Keeps Tel Aviv Travel Ban In Place

(New York, NY) -- The FAA will continue to restrict travel to and from Israel's main international airport for at least another day. Aviation attorney Sal Lagonia says the ban is hurting travel to Israel.
A ban on U.S. aircraft landing at or taking off from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv was issued yesterday after a rocket fired from Gaza landed about a mile away. The FAA now says it will keep those restrictions in place for at least another 24 hours. US Airways has already said it plans to resume flights to Tel Aviv tomorrow, pending approval from the FAA.
Additional audio:
Aviation attorney Sal Lagonia says the FAA had to make a difficult decision. Lagonia says Hamas used a different kind of missile to hit close to Tel Aviv's airport. Play Clip

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf rejected claims that the flight ban is a U.S. ploy to pressure Israel into accepting a new ceasefire with Hamas. U.S. airlines are prohibited from flying into or out of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. There are ongoing concerns about rocket fire in the bloody dispute between Israel and Hamas.

The now two-day order has disrupted travel plans for hundreds of passengers on dozens of flights. Harf said the FAA consulted with U.S. intelligence officials before issuing the travel ban. Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Tel Aviv aboard a military aircraft. Harf noted that Kerry and his team were "very comfortable." Kerry is trying to broker the ceasefire agreement.

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