FAA tells US airlines all flights to Tel Aviv airport in Israel prohibited for 24 hours

Rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is telling U.S. airlines they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel after a Hamas rocket exploded nearby.

The FAA said in a statement that the ban on flights is for 24 hours beginning at 12:15 p.m. EST on Tuesday.

The statement said the rocket strike landed about one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport Tuesday morning.

The notice only applies to U.S. airlines since the FAA has no authority over carriers from other nations.

The agency said it will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, and that updated instructions will be provided to U.S. airlines "as soon as conditions permit, but no later than 24 hours" from the time the directive went into force.

Germany and France's largest airlines Lufthansa and Air France also say they're suspending all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns amid the increasing violence.

Lufthansa said Tuesday evening that it was suspending all Tel Aviv flights for 36 hours, including those operated by subsidiaries Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss.

The company says it made the decision as a precaution to protect the safety of its passengers and crews.

Air France says it was suspending its flights until further notice for the same reason.

Air France says its security department continues to monitor local developments in Israel. Palestinian militants have fired more than 2,000 rockets toward Israel. Several heading toward the area of Ben-Gurion Airport have been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense system.

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