Netanyahu Spokesman: Israel's Airport 'Safe, Secure'

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 11:13 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, is "safe" and "secure," despite a travel ban issued on Tuesday by the U.S. State Department, said Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I drove past the airport on the way to work this morning. Planes were taking off. Planes were landing. Our airport is safe. Our airport is secure. We hope the American carriers will be flying to Israel soon," Regev told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.

Story continues below video.



The FAA issued the ban on flights to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza for a period of at least 24 hours after a rocket landed a mile from Ben Gurion International Airport. The ban was issued due to continued fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas.

Israel was "internationally recognized" for its aviation security, Regev said. While there had been 2,000 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, Regev pointed out "we haven't had one rocket hit a target inside the airport, not on the runway, not on the terminal."

Regev maintained "the ball is clearly in Hamas' court" to put an end to the fighting, since Israel had agreed to numerous ceasefire proposals, while "Hamas said, 'No,' or violated them."

"We've accepted cease-fire solutions that have been put on the table. And, Hamas has been the one who has refused to accept cease-fires, continued to shoot rockets at Israel, continued to attack Israel.

"Are they ready for a serious cease-fire, a cease-fire where we know that this is going to end, that Israel and the citizens of my country can enjoy a sustained period of peace and quiet, and live in security without the constant fear of an incoming rocket from Gaza?" he asked.

While Regev suggested it would be a "very interesting development" if Hamas did choose a cease-fire, he said he didn't think "they're about to do that."

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