UPDATE: 7/24 12:24am

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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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UPDATE 7/23 6:00am

Travelers trying to fly out of the U-S to Israel remain on "wait-and-see" mode as the F-A-A's restriction continues today.

The 24-hour order preventing flights from heading to Tel Aviv is expected to conclude at 12:15pm Wednesday afternoon.

Passengers who are grounded because of the order could re-book their flights, but when it comes to refunds, it's not guaranteed under some airlines ticket policy as this is considered an extraordinary circumstance.

Not only that, Michael Cintron with the International Airline Passenger Association says it's possible the F-A-A could extend its order, which will be a big problem for airliners.

"If it's something lengthy where flights have to be canceled and business cannot be conducted, there's a lot of a domino effect, so to speak," says Cintron.

He adds the order is likely being issued out of an abundance of caution following last week's Malaysian Airliner shootdown over Ukraine.


TEL AVIV (AP) — Israeli officials are urging foreign airlines to reverse their decision to cancel flights into Israel's main airport.

All U.S. airlines and some in Europe and Canada suspended those flights after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near the airport today, wounding one Israeli.

The country's Transportation Ministry insists that the airport is safe and completely guarded. And it says there's no reason to reward Palestinian militants by stopping the flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration has told U.S. airlines they are prohibited from flying to Tel Aviv for 24 hours.

(Photo: JACK GUEZ / Getty)