Lufthansa to resume flights to Tel Aviv on Saturday

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Lufthansa said it would resume flights to Israel's Tel Aviv airport on Saturday July 26, lifting a ban imposed in response to fears that rockets being fired from the Gaza strip could pose a threat to aircraft.

"On the basis of the most up-to-date information we have available and our own assessment of the local security situation, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will resume their flights from and to Ben Gurion International Airport," the airline said on Friday.

Lufthansa Group also operates Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss.

Earlier this week the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted a ban on flights by U.S. airlines to Ben Gurion, Israel's main hub.

Israel had criticized the FAA decision, saying the airport was safe.

The FAA had imposed the ban in response to a Palestinian rocket that struck a building 2 km (1 mile) from the airport. Israel said the damage was debris from a mid-air rocket interception by its Iron Dome missile defense system.

Palestinian militants have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel's heartland during two weeks of conflict, but Israeli authorities have emphasized the success of the Iron Dome in protecting Ben Gurion Airport, as well as a precautionary narrowing of air corridors.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Edward Taylor; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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