U.S. airlines suspend Israel flights, citing security concerns

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(Courtesy: Robert Johnson/CNN)

Several U.S. airlines suspended flights to Israel on Tuesday because of security concerns, with one company specifically citing a rocket attack near Tel Aviv.

Delta Air Lines and American Airlines both told CNN they suspended service to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. US Airways made the same decision, the Israel Airport Authority told CNN.

Citing “reports of a rocket or associated debris” near the airport, Delta said it suspended service between its hub in New York and Tel Aviv “to ensure the safety and security of our customers and employees.”

Israel has said militants from Gaza have been launching rockets into the country for days, part of an ongoing military conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territory.

One immediate effect: Delta Flight 468, which left New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with 273 passengers, diverted Tuesday to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport instead of heading to Tel Aviv as scheduled, the airline said.

“Delta continues to work closely with U.S. and other government resources to monitor the situation,” the airline said.

The Israel Airport Authority said the airport was safe, and called on the U.S. airlines to return to routine flight schedules at Tel Aviv.

“There is no reason that American carriers should stop flying to Israel and thus give a prize to terror,” he said.