Michael Bloomberg flying to Israel to protest FAA ban

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is flying to Israel tonight on the Israeli airline El Al to protest a Federal Aviation Administration ban on U.S. carriers flying to or from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

Bloomberg made the announcement on his Web site. He urged the FAA to change its decision.

"This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel," Bloomberg said in a statement. "Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world and El Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely. The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the FAA to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel."

The FAA said the ban -- for at least 24 hours -- was put in place after a rocket landed about a mile away from the airport.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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