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Agency tells US airlines not to fly to Tel Aviv airport after Hamas rocket explodes nearby

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines Tuesday they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby.

The ban began 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT) on Tuesday, the agency said in a statement.

"Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza, all flight operations to/from Ben Gurion International Airport by U.S. operators are prohibited until further advised," the FAA said in its notice to airlines. The rocket strike landed about one mile (1.6 km) from the airport, the agency said.

The notice applies only to U.S. airlines since the FAA has no authority over carriers from other nations.

The agency said it will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, and that updated instructions will be provided to U.S. airlines "as soon as conditions permit, but no later than 24 hours" from the time the directive went into force.

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