Last updated: 22 July, 2014

Israel says no reason to cancel flights after rocket fire

Israel said there was no reason to cancel flights after a rocket fired from Gaza crashed just kilometres (miles) from its main airport Tuesday, prompting some airlines to suspend services.

The Federal Aviation Authority banned US airlines from flying to or from the Jewish state, which is locked in a bloody conflict with Gaza militants, and major European and Canadian carriers cancelled flights shortly after.

Israeli “Transport Minister Yisrael Katz this evening called American companies to explain to them that the take-off and landing at (Tel Aviv’s) Ben Gurion airport presented no security problem for the aircraft and the passengers,” a Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said.

“There is no reason for American companies to cancel their flights and yield to terrorism,” Katz was quoted as saying.

A house was damaged on Tuesday morning “by a rocket strike in the area of Kiryat Ono Yehoud, which is several kilometres north of the airport,” Israeli police said.

The projectile was fired from the Gaza Strip, where Israel has been carrying out an offensive against Islamist movement Hamas since July 8.

Israel’s national carrier El Al said in a statement that it was continuing “its flight from and to Israel”.