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European Aviation Safety Agency 'strongly recommends' airlines avoid Tel Aviv airport

BERLIN - The European Aviation Safety Agency says it "strongly recommends" that airlines refrain from operating flights to and from Tel Aviv.

The recommendation by Europe's main aviation safety body came after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines they are prohibited from flying to Israel's Ben Gurion airport for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby.

EASA's statement Tuesday didn't name a similar timeframe, but it said the agency would "monitor the situation and advise on any update as the situation develops."

European airlines including Lufthansa, Air France and Alitalia say they have already suspended all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns.

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