Airlines cancel flights to Israel over rocket threat

Delta Air Lines, United and US Airways each canceled flights Tuesday to Israel because of safety and security concerns.

Delta, which typically flies between New York's JFK airport and Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, suspended service indefinitely.

Delta Flight 468, a Boeing 747 with 273 passengers and 17 crew members, diverted to Paris on Tuesday after reports of a rocket near Tel Aviv, the airline said.

US Airways also canceled a flight to Israel Tuesday. Flight 796, which began in Los Angeles, was canceled in Philadelphia before leaving for Tel Aviv.

United Airlines canceled flights 84 and 90 from Newark to Tel Aviv.

"We are suspending operations to/from Tel Aviv until further notice," spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm said. "We are working with government officials to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees and will continue to evaluate the situation."

Delta also said the airline is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and other government agencies to monitor the situation.

The State Department has been warning to defer non-essential travel to Israel since Feb. 3 because of hostilities with the West Bank and Gaza.

Long-range rockets launched from Gaza since July 8, 2014 have reached many locations in Israel, including Tel Aviv. While many rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, there have been impacts that have caused damage and injury.

Israeli Defense Forces said in its Twitter feed that Iron Dome had intercepted one rocket above Tel Aviv while a second rocket fell in the town of Yehud, about a mile and a half from the airport.


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