Anticipating an imminent ban by the FAA of all U.S. flights to Israel, Delta, United, and US Airways each canceled all outbound flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport until further notice.
Delta Flight 468, one of its two daily Boeing 747 non-stops from New York’s JFK to Tel Aviv was diverted to Paris early Tuesday after reports that a Hamas rocket had fallen near Israel’s main international gateway at Ben Gurion Airport.
Around 12:00 p.m. EST Tuesday, the FAA imposed a ban on all U.S. Airlines’ flights to Israel following the Hamas attack which resulted in shrapnel from the downed rocket hitting a private home in the town of Yahud, which borders airport land.
Full details of the FAA’s ban have not yet been released. However, no suggestion has been made at this time that the unprecedented decision resulted from a political directive from either the White House or State Department to increase U.S. pressure on Israel to accede to its demands for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. Israelis believe such a move would leave Hamas’ capability to resume its terror war upon Israeli civilians intact.
The impact of an official American ban on travel to Israel could have devastating effects upon the Jewish state’s economy and connection with the outside world.