US flights to Israel canceled after rocket hits near airport

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Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways have canceled flights to Israel after a rocket hit near Israel's main international airport. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways have canceled flights to Israel indefinitely after a rocket hit near Israel's main international airport.

The FAA has prohibited all flights to Israel for 24 hours, calling it a "potentially hazardous situation."

The rocket 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.

Delta Flight 468 from New York to Tel Aviv was already in the air and was forced to divert to Paris due to the rocket. There were 273 passengers aboard, along with 17 crew members.

"Delta continues to work closely with U.S. and other government resources to monitor the situation," the airline said in a statement.

Delta is allowing passengers to change their ticket without a fee if they were scheduled to travel to or from Tel Aviv.

US Airways, which has one daily flight from Philadelphia, canceled that flight Tuesday and the return trip from Tel Aviv.

United Airlines, which has two flights daily to Israel out of Newark, N.J., suspended those flights as a safety precaution.

European airlines Air France, Alitalia and Lufthansa also suspended all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns.

The subsequent flight cancellations come amid the increasing tensions between Israel and militants in Gaza. The Israeli military said at least 41 rockets were fired from the Palestinian territory toward Israel on Tuesday.

Ayala Kiv, who's heading back home to Tel Aviv Tuesday on Israeli airline El Al with her three sons, admits the rocket attack has left her shaken, but she doesn't think any flights to Israel should be cancelled.

"The American people, they are the most good friends to Israel, I think they have to support us, they have to show all the world that it's still safe to come to Israel and stand with us hand by hand," Kiv said.

The Israeli government felt the airlines overreacted Tuesday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday afternoon asking for his help to have flights resumed between the U.S. and Israel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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travelflight divertedairlineisraelgaza stripu.s. & world
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