State Department Issues Travel Warning for Israel

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

The warning, which replaces one issued in February, was issued Wednesday due to what the State Department called “heightened tensions and security risks.”

The warning notes a “rise in political tensions and violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank has resulted in injuries to and deaths of U.S. citizens.” Among them was American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz, who was killed on November 19 by a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank.

The State Department warned American citizens against travel to Gaza, and called on those in Gaza to leave immediately, pointing out that government employees are not allowed to travel officially or personally to Gaza. The State Department also urged American citizens to consider rules for government employees, which bar personal travel to the West Bank and the use of public buses in Israel.

The State Department warned Americans in Israel to be aware of their surroundings at all times, avoid any unattended items or packages and report any unusual or suspicious activities or items.

“Since October 2015, attacks on individuals and groups have occurred with increased frequency in East and West Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethlehem, as well as various other places in the West Bank and Israel, including Tel Aviv,” the department said. “There is no indication that U.S. citizens have been specifically targeted based on their nationality, although perceived religious affiliation may have been a factor in some violent attacks on U.S. citizens. More than 12 U.S. citizens have been among those killed and injured in multiple attacks in 2014 and 2015.”

The State Department frequently issues travel warnings for the West Bank and certain areas of Israel. A worldwide travel alert for American citizens was issued last month in the wake of recent terror attacks in Paris and Mali.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

State Department Issues Travel Warning for Israel

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close