The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem have ordered their citizen employees to refrain from using sheruts, shared mini-bus taxis.
The restriction announced on Tuesday is in addition to the longstanding prohibition on using public buses or waiting at bus terminals or bus stops in Israel.
The prohibition on using sheruts is in effect for the next two weeks, the diplomatic missions said in identical statements, “as we assess the security implications of the Dec. 22 bomb attack on a public bus in the Bat Yam neighborhood of Tel Aviv.”
Passengers were removed from the bus after one noticed a suspicious object. The bomb detonated shortly thereafter.
Since the bus attack, a Palestinian attacker stabbed an Israeli policeman and Border Guards thwarted a second stabbing attack. A rocket fired from Gaza following the attack landed in a residential area of southern Israel.
The embassy statement urged U.S. citizens in Israel “to exercise caution and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety and security. U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings and news reports, and follow the civil defense guidance provided by the Home Front Command.”