U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv
U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv
Photo: AFP
U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv

U.S. warns citizens in Israel of rocket fire risk

American officials recommend to stay alert in tourist areas and stay away from demonstrations; embassy staff asked not to reach areas prone to alarms

Associated Press |
Published: 01.06.20 , 22:38
The United States on Monday warned its citizens in Israel and Palestinian territories to be vigilant, citing the risk of rocket fire days after a U.S. drone strike killed an Iranian military commander in Baghdad.
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  • The alert issued on the websites of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. embassy in Israel did not specifically mention the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Qassem Soleimani, but referred to heightened tensions in the Middle East.
    U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv
    U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: AFP)
    Israel has not issued a similar warning to its own citizens, though Army Radio reported the military had been put on alert.
    The State Security Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met on Monday for the first time since Soleimani's assassination.
    Rare leaks from inside the forum to Israeli media quoted unidentified Israeli intelligence officials as saying the probability of an imminent Iranian attack on Israel was low.
    The U.S. message said it "strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning."
    It said Israel's "red alert" siren system may be activated in the event of "mortar or rocket fire". Such attacks have been launched against Israel periodically from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, where the Islamic Jihad group is backed by Iran.
    Israel is also concerned about possible retaliation for Soleimani's death by other Iranian proxies and allies in the region, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas.
    Aside from a one-day closure of a ski resort in the Golan Heights on the Syrian frontier after Friday's attack on Soleimani, there has been no sign of any disruption of normal life in Israel.
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