The Foreign Ministry has decided Saturday to upgrade its travel advisory to Thailand in the wake of growing violence there, urging Israelis to stay away from Bangkok.
Israelis who have to travel to the Thai capital at this time should keep their stay as short as possible, the Ministry says.
The warning calls on Israelis to avoided trouble zones in the city as well as crowded locations and government offices. The Ministry stressed that Thai security forces have been given the go-ahead to use live fire.
"Bangkok is under siege, you can feel there are no people on the streets. All the major malls are closed. Some fear the airport will be shut down tonight," an Israeli residing in the city told Ynet earlier Saturday.
The Thai army has designated an area in central Bangkok as a "live firing zone" in a warning to protesters and local residents. Soldiers unrolled razor wire across roads leading to the Ratchaprarop area Saturday and pinned Thai and English-language notices saying "Live Firing Zone" and "Restricted Area. No Entry."
The signs indicate soldiers may shoot protesters still hiding there.
Thai troops firing at protestors (Photo: AP)
Violence in Bangkok escalated in the last few days after a former army general who is said to have provided advice to the anti-government protestors was shot on Thursday. On the third day of riots, soldiers opened fire at the protestors.
Seventeen people were killed during the violent clashes, and at least 157 were injured.
The "red shirts" who are demanding the resignation of the Thai government hurled improvised explosive charges and rockets at security forces while the army recruited reinforcements in an effort to disperse the demonstrators and restore order in the capital.
Evacuating protestor who was shot in the head (Photo: AP)
'Thai people united'
"Violence has escalated and the situation has become worse," the Israeli who wished to remain anonymous informed.
"It appears the Thai people are united together with the reds, since hurting the Thais will not be ignored. It gives them strength. "
The Israeli could not estimate what is to be expected next. "You can't tell where this will go, everything is under a cloud. There is fear the reds will be coming from the villages."
Meanwhile, Israeli travelers are instructed not to go near the riot centers or the major commercial areas. "Israelis know to avoid reaching these places and not to contact the reds," he said.
He added that those who can will opt to board connection flights in order to travel to other destinations.
Associated Press and Gido Ran contributed to this report