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July 23, 2014 1:03 pm
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FAA Extends Israel Flight Restrictions for Another 24 Hours

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A Delta Boeing 747-400.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday extended flight restrictions on U.S. airline carriers flying to or from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport for an additional 24 hours.

“Today the FAA issued another Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) informing U.S. airlines that yesterday’s NOTAM flight remains in effect for Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport for up to an additional 24 hours while the FAA continues to monitor and evaluate the situation,” the FAA said in a statement. “The agency is working closely with the Government of Israel to review the significant new information they have provided and determine whether potential risks to U.S. civil aviation are mitigated so the agency can resolve concerns as quickly as possible.”

The NOTAM applies only to U.S. airline carriers and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from Ben Gurion airport, the statement said.

“The agency’s responsibility is to act with an abundance of caution in protecting those traveling on U.S. airlines.”

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The FAA initially announced the flight prohibition on Tuesday in response to rocket debris that landed near the Tel Aviv airport, The Algemeiner previously reported. Some European airlines followed suit and halted flights on their way to Israel. On Tuesday, German carrier Lufthansa nixed all flights to and from Tel Aviv, according to an ABC News correspondent, and Air France also suspended its flights to Israel.

On Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and asked him to act in order to restore American air travel to and from Israel.

An Israeli diplomatic insider told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that the timing of the FAA’s announcement was “puzzling to say the least.”

Despite the FAA ban, Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry both flew to Israel on Wednesday.

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