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FAA Lifts Ban On U.S. Flights To Israel

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A woman walks through an empty arrivals gate at terminal three of Ben Gurion Airport on July 24, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

A woman walks through an empty arrivals gate at terminal three of Ben Gurion Airport on July 24, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted a ban on U.S. flights to and from Israel.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports the FAA began prohibiting U.S. airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv on Tuesday, after a Palestinian rocket landed near Ben Gurion Airport. There was a concern planes could be hit by Hamas rockets

Initially, it was expected to last about 24 hours, but the FAA extended the ban Wednesday morning, cancelling even more flights in and out of Israel. The ban ultimately was lifted around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The next flight from Chicago to Tel Aviv originally was set to take off from O’Hare International Airport at 9:45 a.m. Thursday, but has since been delayed until 11 a.m.

Chicagoan Joseph Glimer was supposed to fly out of Chicago on Tuesday, and join his wife in Israel for an Israeli-American soldier’s funeral, but his flight was one of several canceled, as was his rebooked flight.

“I was actually inside the plane ready to go when the stewardess told me, ‘I am sorry your flight was canceled,’” he said. “I’m an eternal optimist. As long as I see her, I’m okay.”

Glimer, who was born in Israel and fought in two wars, questioned the need for the ban.

“It’s really pretty safe,” he said.

Even so, Glimer said he finds the violence in Gaza heartbreaking.

“I really feel bad both for Israel and for the Palestinian people. I definitely don’t feel sorry for Hamas.”

He isn’t sure when he’ll get to Israel now.

Officials say nearly 700 people have died since this latest round of fighting began.

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