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Politico: FAA lifts flight ban to Tel Aviv

The Federal Aviation Administration late Wednesday lifted its 36-hour-old ban on U.S. airlines flying into and out of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, a prohibition that had brought the agency furious criticism from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The FAA had first issued the no-fly order Tuesday following a rocket that landed about a mile from the airport, and then renewed the ban earlier Wednesday. The agency said it lifted the ban after it worked “with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation.”

Cruz had said the ban amounted to an “economic boycott on Israel,” prompting a State Department spokeswoman to call his statement “ridiculous and offensive.” The senator also vowed to block all State Department nominees until he got answers to five questions, including whether the decision was politically motived and who exactly made the final call to stop the flights.

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