FAA lifts restrictions on US flights to Israel

A departure flight board displays canceled and delayed flights in Ben Gurion International airport after the FAA imposed a restriction on flights there, July 23, 2014. (Dan Balilty)

The FAA lifted restrictions on U.S. flights to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Wednesday night after extending the ban earlier in the day.

The agency said before making the decision, it worked with the U.S. government to assess the security situation and carefully review new information and measures Israel's government is making to lessen risks to travelers.

The FAA said it will continue to monitor the situation at the airport and will take more security actions if needed.

The ban was first issued Tuesday in response to a rocket strike that landed in Yahood, which is a Tel Aviv suburb and about one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport. While no one was injured, several homes were destroyed.

"The agency's responsibility is to act with an abundance of caution in protecting those traveling on U.S. airlines," the FAA said in a statement Wednesday.

After more than two weeks of bloodshed, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Tel Aviv Wednesday to help broker a ceasefire. He met with leaders on both sides of the conflict.

In Jerusalem, Kerry said negotiations toward a Gaza cease-fire were making some progress as he met for a second time this week with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon.

On the ground, meanwhile, Israeli troops backed by tanks and aerial drones clashed with Hamas fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on the outskirts of Khan Younis, killing at least eight militants, a Palestinian health official said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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