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Friday, July 13, 2007

US State Department Issues New Travel Warning to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520

This information is current as of today, Fri Jul 13 2007 17:11:08 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time).


July 13, 2007

This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on the general security environment in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and to reiterate threats to American citizens and U.S. interests in those locations. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain mindful of security factors when considering travel to Israel and Jerusalem at this time. In addition, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to the West Bank and to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip. This warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued January 17, 2007.

American citizens in the Gaza Strip should depart immediately, a recommendation that the State Department has maintained and renewed since the deadly roadside bombing of a U.S. Embassy convoy in Gaza on October 15, 2003. This recommendation applies to all Americans, including journalists and aid workers.

The Gaza Strip has witnessed considerable violence in recent months, both between Palestinian factions and between Israeli security forces and armed Palestinian groups. Similar incidents have also occurred in the West Bank. Violent demonstrations, kidnappings and shootings have also occurred in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Areas of violent conflict shift rapidly and unpredictably. Militants have continued to abduct Western citizens, and terrorist organizations have threatened attacks against U.S. interests. Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization, violently assumed control over Gaza in June 2007, making the already dangerous security situation there even more precarious. The American International School in northern Gaza was the target of an attack on April 21, 2007.

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