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Photo: Michael Kramer
American Embassy in Tel Aviv
Photo: Michael Kramer
US updates travel advisory
State Department tells American citizens told to leave Gaza, West Bank, exercise caution

WASHINGTON - The American State Department updated its travel warning Friday to citizens and residents of the US living in Israel and the territories.

 

The warning called on all American citizens to leave the Gaza Strip immediately.

 

Although this recommendation has been force since the deadly roadside bombing of a US embassy convoy in October 2003, the updated travel warning notes "the considerable violence in recent months" in the Gaza Strip, "both between Palestinian factions and between Israeli security forces and armed Palestinian groups." 

 

The State Department added that "the Israeli authorities are concerned by the continued threat of suicide attacks," and that "the US government has received information indicating that American interests could be the focus of terrorist attacks."

 

Americans were cautioned to leave the Gaza Strip immediately and to refrain from entering the West Bank. They are asked to be attentive in the vicinity of American buildings such as the embassy in Tel Aviv and the consulate in Jerusalem.

 

American tourists are requested to "exercise a high degree of caution and common sense when patronizing restaurants, cafes, malls, places of worship and theaters."

 

Americans have also been asked to avoid crowded places and "street vendors who can aggressively harass tourists." American citizens should also take into account that US government personnel employees are forbidden to enter discotheques, night clubs, busses and trains."

 

The Old City of Jerusalem is off limits for American diplomats and their family members at night and during Friday prayers.

 

American government employees are forbidden to enter the West Bank, except for critical missions, coordinated.

 

American diplomats and their family members are permitted to drive through the West Bank on routes numbers 1 and 90 towards Allenby Bridge, Ein Gedi and Masada, or towards Beit She'an. This can only be done in day-light and after coordinating it with the American Consulate. Route 443 between Modiin and Jerusalem is only permissible in daylight after informing the consulate.

 

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