The Biden administration has issued an ultimatum saying that if American planes are not allowed to fly emergency planes to Israel, Israeli planes will not be allowed to land in the U.S., Israel’s Channel 12 news reported Saturday.
Israel’s Ben Gurion airport has been shuttered for the past three weeks and the only planes permitted to land belong to the country’s El Al flagship carrier bringing stranded Israelis home.
The U.S. Department of Transportation warned that by doing so Israel is violating the open skies agreement between the two countries, the report said.
The report cited White House officials as telling Israel: “Why do you need a crisis with the new administration? Allow our planes to fly to Israel.”
Israel fears that other countries, including the UK, will issue a similar ultimatum, the report outlines.
According to a separate report by Channel 13, Health Ministry officials have recommended the airport remain shuttered for at least another month.
The report of the U.S. threat to sanction Israeli planes comes amid speculation surrounding President Joe Biden’s delay in calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the three weeks since taking office, Biden has called the leaders of several key allies around the world except for Netanyahu, leading some to comment that the frosty start is a sign of things to come for Israel-U.S. ties.
Donald Trump, by contrast, called Netanyahu within two days of becoming president.