Michael Bloomberg flies to Israel to protest FAA ban

The FAA banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel due to safety concerns after a rocket landed near Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv. European airliners have also ceased traffic to the country, citing dangerous conditions.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   July 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

NEW YORK, July 23 (UPI) -- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Tel Aviv Tuesday to protest the FAA ban on U.S. flights to Israel, arguing that it is perfectly safe.

Flying the Israeli airline El Al to circumvent the U.S. and European airlines, he stopped at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to speak to reporters.

"I'm not trying to prove anything. I'm just trying to show that it's safe, and a great place to visit, and Israel has a right to defend its people, and they're doing exactly what they should be doing," Bloomberg said.

"The flight restrictions are a mistake that hand Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the [Federal Aviation Administration] to reverse course and permit U.S. airlines to fly to Israel," he said in an earlier statement.

Bloomberg arrived safely in Israel, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and praised his country's secure airport.

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