A US senator on Thursday proposed banning all US airlines from flying out of Israel after he found flights to Israel were violating the US government’s anti-terrorism law.
The legislation, which was introduced by Democrat Mike Crapo, would prohibit flights to and from Israel for 90 days and impose penalties of up to $10,000 for each such flight.US President Donald Trump has accused Israel of waging a campaign to undermine US national security and the Jewish state’s Jewish state charter.
Trump said in March that he was “deeply concerned” about the Israel-Palestine conflict and that it was “undermining our relations with Israel”.
The move was prompted by comments by Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, who suggested US legislation against Israeli-based airlines could be interpreted to outlaw all US travel to the country.
Israel’s ambassador, Danny Danon, on Wednesday called the move “unfair” and said it was unfair to the Israelis.
Crapo told reporters on Capitol Hill that the bill, if passed, would be a first step in preventing a repeat of the 2008 terrorist attacks in the United States.
He said Israel’s air carrier, Etihad Airways, was one of many airlines operating out of Tel Aviv and that US law enforcement officials were concerned that Israeli authorities were using the Israeli-US relationship to circumvent the US travel ban.
The bill, Crapolos bill, would also ban flights to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, for 90 consecutive days.
Israel’s government says the flights violate its international charter, which stipulates that all foreign citizens are banned from entering the country and the country does not recognise any Jewish state.
The White House has said it has no plans to respond to the Crapos legislation.
The FAA is currently working on new rules for flights to the Jewish State.
The FAA has a mandate to protect American passengers from terrorism.