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European and US airlines have suspended flights into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport after a rocket landed one mile away.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered three US carriers that fly to Israel – Delta, United and US Airways – to halt flights for 24 hours.

European carriers Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France have also cancelled flights to Tel Aviv.

The move comes amid heightened scrutiny over flights near conflict zones.

Israel’s Transportation Ministry asked the airlines to reverse their decision, saying the airport was “safe for landings and departures”.

“Ben Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize,” it said in a statement.

The FAA ordered three US carriers to halt Israel flights for 24 hours

The FAA ordered three US carriers to halt Israel flights for 24 hours

The FAA’s prohibition only applies to US airlines. The agency has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport.

However, Lufthansa – which includes Swiss, Germanwings and Austrian Airlines – said it had decided to suspend flights to Israel for two days.

Air France and KLM also said they had suspended flights scheduled to depart on Tuesday.

However, Air France said a flight scheduled for Wednesday is still scheduled to depart.

Delta said a flight from New York City to Tel Aviv was diverted to Paris on Tuesday after Israeli police confirmed that a rocket landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion airport.

Both and United said they had suspended operations in Israel for the near future – beyond the FAA’s 24-hr period.

US Airways said it had not yet made a decision.

British Airways wrote on Twitter: “We are closely monitoring the situation. Our flights are currently operating as scheduled.”

The halt in service comes less than a week after Israel began a ground operation in Gaza, and as airlines around the world re-think their flight paths over conflict areas in the wake of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

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NASA’s skyTran and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are to build the world’s first public pilot project for elevated transit network in Tel Aviv.

A 500m loop will be built on the campus of IAI followed by a commercial network, according to skyTran.

Two-person vehicles will be suspended from elevated magnetic tracks, as an alternative transport method to congested roads, the firm promised.

NASA's skyTran and Israel Aerospace Industries are to build the world’s first public pilot project for elevated transit network in Tel Aviv

NASA’s skyTran and Israel Aerospace Industries are to build the world’s first public pilot project for elevated transit network in Tel Aviv

The system should be up and running by the end of 2015.

The company hopes the test track will prove that the technology works and lead to a commercial version of the network.

The plan is to allow passengers to order a vehicle on their smartphone to meet them at a specific station and then head directly to their destination.

The vehicles will achieve speeds of up to 43mph although the commercial rollout is expected to offer much faster vehicles.

A number of skyTran projects are planned globally, including in India and the US, but will depend upon the success of the Israeli pilot.

SkyTran, based at the NASA research park in California, hopes to revolutionise public transport.

Chief executive Jerry Sanders described the agreement to build a test track with IAI as a “breakthrough” for the project.

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At least four people were injured in a car explosion in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on Menachem Begin Street, a major thoroughfare.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said there was a strong possibility the blast was a criminal incident and a “settling of scores” but did not rule out political violence.

Israeli radio said the car belonged to the suspected head of an organized crime gang.

The black Mazda car burst into flames after being targeted by a motorcyclist nearby, Haaretz newspaper reported.

An empty bus nearby was also damaged in the explosion.

At least four people were injured in a car explosion in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on Menachem Begin Street, a major thoroughfare

At least four people were injured in a car explosion in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on Menachem Begin Street, a major thoroughfare

Israeli media say the car’s owner did not appear to have been in the vehicle at the time.

Correspondents say that in recent years Israel has become a ferocious battleground for criminal gangs involving several mafia families.

Wednesday’s blast initially prompted fears of a Palestinian militant attack. A blast in the city allegedly carried out by an Israeli Arab injured 15 people in November last year, during Israel’s campaign against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

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