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Israeli PM begs for resumption of US flights to Israel

Several Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, contacted American officials yesterday evening to ask for the resumption of US flights from and to Israel, Israeli media and Reuters said.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said in a statement: "There is no need for US carriers to suspend flights and reward terrorism."

Netanyahu phoned US Secretary of State John Kerry discussing a notice issued by the Federation of American Airlines (FAA) ordering the suspension of flights for at least 24 hours.

Kerry's spokeswomen Jen Psaki said in a statement: "The only consideration in issuing the notice was the safety and security of our citizens."

"The FAA continues to monitor and evaluate the situation, and will issue updated guidelines no later than 24 hours from the time the notice went into force," Reuters reported.

A senior official in the US Administration was quoted by Reuters saying: "We are not going to overrule the FAA, period."

The official added: "We understand Israeli concerns. They do not want to have a shutdown of air traffic into Ben Gurion. We can look at this every 24 hours." The official noted that the warning came after a rocket landed one mile from Ben Gurion Airport.

Several European airlines also suspended flights from and to Israel because of safety reasons, they include Air France, KLM and Lufthansa.

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