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FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport

WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights to Israel, which it had imposed out of concern over the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets.

The agency made its decision late Wednesday after working with other U.S. government entities to assess the security situation in Israel. Its decision was effective at 11:45 p.m. EDT.

The FAA instituted a 24-hour prohibition Tuesday on flights to Ben Gurion International Airport in response to a rocket strike that landed about a mile from the airport.

The directive, which was extended Wednesday, applied only to U.S. carriers. The FAA has no authority over foreign airlines operating in Israel.

The FAA's flight ban was criticized by the Israeli government and by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

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