The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday barred U.S. airliners from traveling to and from Israel for at least 24 hours, in the wake of now-confirmed reports saying a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, the country's only international airport.
Several airlines already had suspended operations or diverted flights.
The ban comes less than a week after a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down over Ukraine. For Hamas, it could be the biggest break the Islamist group has had since the most recent fighting started -- potentially increasing Israeli's physical and psychological isolation from the rest of the world. The airport handles about 14 million travelers a year.
Most of the more than 2,000 rockets fired at Israel in the past two weeks have had little effect. Only two Israeli civilians have died, and the Iron Dome missile system -- partially funded by the U.S. and incorporating U.S. technology -- has been almost 90 percent effective at intercepting rockets fired at populated areas.