July 25, 2014 at 1:00 am

OUR EDITORIAL

Resume flights to Israel

Airlines are beginning to resume service to Ben Gurion Airport, after the Federal Aviation Authority lifted its ban on flights to Israelís largest airport. Both American and European carriers should restore normal traffic, both as a stand against terror and recognition that Israelís remarkable missile defense system is a success.

The FAA rightly suspended flights after a rocket fired by Hamas from the Palestinian territory of Gaza landed a mile from Ben Gurion. It was an appropriate precaution given the intensity of the conflict.

But Israelís Iron Dome defense has worked nearly perfectly to deflect most of the Hamas missiles that could potentially cause damage. The rocket that landed near the airport was a fluke, and did not endanger any flights.

Israel has assured the FAA and airlines that its defense system makes flights into its country safer than those to many other parts of the world currently in upheaval.

Hamas declared a victory when the flights were suspended, recognizing that cutting off Israel would increase pressure on the Israelis to accept concessions that would reward the terrorist group for starting this latest round of violence.

That would serve neither the best interest of Israel nor the Palestinians.

The goal of Israelís military incursion is to demilitarize Gaza, destroy the tunnels that are carrying terror into Israel and assure that Hamas doesnít rearm.

Accomplishing that mission would mostly benefit the Palestinians, whose lives have been put at risk by Hamas turning their communities into battlefields.

Israel has said if Gaza is demilitarized, it will reopen a seaport and otherwise ease access to the territory.

Standing strong against Hamas is the best way to relieve the Palestinians, and to bring this endless cycle of violence to an end.