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Air Canada flight lands safely after rockets fired near Tel Aviv airport: report

An Air Canada flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv was forced to circle Ben Gurion airport while air traffic control crews confirmed whether it could land safely amid reported rocket fire from Hamas.

The plane landed safely just after noon local time, about an hour behind schedule.

The flight crew was advised by Israeli Air Traffic Control eight kilometres before landing to perform a “standard go-around” until the airspace could be confirmed safe for landing, said Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur.

A go-around is performed when a safe landing can’t be executed.

Hamas launched rockets at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport Friday morning causing flight disruptions. Israeli forces reportedly intercepted the rockets mid-air.

The return flight AC85 to Toronto departed at 1:59 p.m. local time.

Arthur said the airline will continue to monitor developments very closely.

Click here to see the plane’s flight path.

This was the first flight Air Canada operated to Tel Aviv after cancelling flights to and from Tel Aviv from Toronto on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Arthur said at the time that the decision to resume flights to Tel Aviv was based on the airline’s “own assessment” and that of “regulators of the situation.”

The FAA had imposed a flight ban to and from Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday due to safety concerns, but it was lifted on Wednesday evening.

“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the FAA said in a release.

With files from Reuters and The Canadian Press