U.S. Airlines Suspending Flights to Israel after Rocket Strike near Tel Aviv Airport

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. and European airlines suspended flights to Israel on Tuesday after a rocket hit a home near Tel Aviv’s international airport.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered a 24-hour ban on flights to Israel citing that the rocket struck just a mile away from the Ben Gurion International Airport. Reports from Israel said the rocket fired from Gaza hit and damaged a home in the city of Yehud Tuesday morning.

After the FAA warning, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and U.S. Airways announced they are suspending flights to Israel. A Delta Air Lines plane flying to Israel was forced to divert and land at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport in France.

A U.S. Airways flight to Israel was cancelled on Tuesday evening.

Delta and other U.S. airlines issued a travel waiver for customers holding flight tickets to Tel Aviv. The waiver valid until July 31 allows customers to change their flight reservation without incurring additional charges.

Air France said it suspended flights to Tel Aviv until further notice. Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, also temporarily cancelled flights to and from Israel for the next 38 hours citing security concerns.

Other European airlines that suspended flights to Israel are Austria Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss Airlines.

Israeli authorities said terrorists in Gaza continue to fire several dozens of rockets aimed at Israel cities per day. A barrage of rockets was also fired at Israel around 9 p.m. Tuesday. The attack triggered sirens in the coastal cities of Holon, Bat Yam, and in Modiin, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Sirens also sounded in Samaria. No one was reported injured in the attack.

Israel’s missile defense system called Iron Dome shot down two missiles.

The Israel Defense Force said it destroyed more than 1,700 rocket launch sites and launchers in Gaza since it launched airstrikes against Hamas terrorists on July 8.

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