Huffpost Politics

Obama Defends FAA's Temporary Ban On Flights To Israel

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US President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Ukraine in the White House briefing room in Washington on July 18, 2014. President Obama said Friday that a missile fired from rebel-held territory in Ukraine downed the Malaysian plane and that one American was among the dead. 'Their deaths are a outrage of unspeakable proportions,' Obama told reporters as he pressed for an international investigation. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty | NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the Federal Aviation Administration took "prudent action" in temporarily banning U.S. flights in and out of Israel.

Obama says decisions on airline safety are not made on the basis of politics or alliances. He noted that the FAA ban came on the heels of last week's downing of a passenger jet by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

The FAA issued the ban Tuesday and lifted the restrictions Wednesday night. Obama says that before lifting the ban, the FAA worked with Israel on a "checklist of concerns and mitigation measures" to ensure the safety of U.S. airlines.

The FAA said the ban was imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets.

Obama made his comments in an interview with CNBC.

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