Israel Travel Warning Given on July 2014 Advices US Citizens To Avoid The Region
The United States Department of State has issued an important warning that provides information about the risks that U.S. citizens may experience when traveling to the West bank, Gaza and to Israel. The warning is in response to the ongoing hostilities in these areas. It seems there are no signs of letting up and may actually increase in severity in the near future.
The US Department of State seriously recommends that all US citizens consider delaying or cancelling all non-essential travel to these areas. The same warning has also confirmed a longstanding strong warning that US citizens should not, for any reason, travel to the Gaza Strip. The new warning on July 21 was going to replace an older Travel Warning. The old warning was originally in the beginning of February, 2014.
Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza currently have a complicated security environment. Especially, with regards to the safety and security of American citizens. As a result, all U.S. citizens who are thinking of traveling to these areas and those who have already booked accommodations need to be aware of the risks. These risks stem from a conflict that is currently going on between Israel and Hamas.
The US Department of State has long warned U.S. citizens to stay out of the Gaza Strip completely. All US government employees, for example, can not travel there for any reason. Both official government business and personal travel are strictly prohibited.
A series of long-range rockets coming from Gaza have been launching since the first week of July, 2014. These rockets have reached many locations throughout Israel. These have included not only Tel Aviv, but also locations farther north and south in the country. Rockets have reached as far as Jerusalem. They have even struck parts of the West Bank that include Hebron and Bethlehem.
While it is important to note that many of these rockets have been intercepted and destroyed in flight by the Iron Dome defense system that was built for exactly this type of situation, there is still the possibility that some could slip through and could injure or anyone in the areas.
The security situation in other areas in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip is also high. It is due to a wide variety of different risks on the ground. Anti-tank weapons, mortars, small arms fire, rockets and more can come from Gaza with almost no warning.
As a result, US Embassy and Consulate General employees can not travel any farther south. Unless they have explicit permission from their superiors.