US Government Employees Prohibited from Travelling to Palestinian Areas
The US government has prohibited its employees from traveling to the West Bank and Gaza, and urged other US citizens to defer all travel to these areas as well as Israel, the State Department announced Tuesday.
But the travel warning issued by the department did not explain if the ban meant that the US Embassy in Israel was severing contacts with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza as the peace process came to a halt.
US government employees were also urged to avoid East Jerusalem, including the Old City.
"The US government has indications that there is a heightened threat of terrorist incidents in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza," the department said.
"American citizens should exercise caution and avoid shopping areas, malls, public buses and bus stops as well as crowded areas and demonstrations," it added.
The state department also urged US citizens "to maintain a low profile and take appropriate steps to reduce their vulnerability."
It called on Americans residing in the West Bank and Gaza to "consider relocating to a safe location, if they can do so safely."
The warning said that from time to time, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate General in Jerusalem will temporarily suspend public services "as necessary to ensure the safety of its personnel."
The document replaces a previous warning on travel to Israel issued on October 12, the state department said – WASHINGTON (AFP)
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