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Michael Bloomberg flies to Israel to show it is safe and 'a great place to visit'
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Tel Aviv Tuesday on an Israeli airline to show that it is safe to travel there despite the ban by U.S. carriers, he said.
"I'm not trying to prove anything," Bloomberg said to reporters at the airport. "I'm just trying to show that it's safe, and a great place to visit, and Israel has the right to defend its people and they're doing exactly what they should be doing."
Earlier Tuesday, a Palestinian rocket landed just a mile from Ben Gurion Airport, leading to the Federal Aviation Administration to place a 24-hour ban on flights from the U.S. to Israel. Delta's CEO said Wednesday that the airline would continue to bar flights to Israel, as did the German airline Lufthansa.
Bloomberg, who usually flies on his own jet, called Israel's El Al Airline a "great airline." In an earlier statement, Bloomberg wrote: "I strongly urge the FAA to reverse course and permit U.S. airlines to fly to Israel."
"The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately," he said in the statement.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel and said ceasefire talks had made some progress, according to Reuters.