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US airlines scrap Israel flights because of missile fears

Two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines said Tuesday they are suspending service between the U.S. and Israel indefinitely. US Airways scrapped its Tel Aviv service Tuesday and said it is monitoring the situation in regards to future flights.

Delta Air Lines’ one daily flight was already in the air. Delta said a Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.

Israeli police confirmed that a rocket from Gaza landed in an area near the airport. Police spokeswomen Luba Samri said the rocket caused damage to a house and slightly wounded one Israeli.

Airlines and passengers are growing more anxious about safety since last week, when a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Airlines have rerouted planes to avoid the area over eastern Ukraine where pro-Soviet separatists are battling the Ukrainian army.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration had no immediate comment.

A Delta spokesman declined to go beyond the details released in a statement.

United Airlines has cancelled its two daily flights to Israel out of Newark, N.J., according to spokesman Rahsaan Johnson.

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

“We are in constant contact with the FAA and are monitoring the situation closely,” said Casey Norton, spokesman for US Airways’ parent company American Airlines.

The airline has not yet made a decision about flights to Israel scheduled for Wednesday and beyond.

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