U.S. State Department issues new warning against travel to Israel

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The U.S. State Department has issued a new warning on travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

It is the first warning to be issued since the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the 50-day conflict in Gaza. The warning, issued on Wednesday, acknowledges that the cease-fire continues to hold.

The warning, which references the rockets launched at Israel from Gaza, calls on U.S. citizens in Israel to familiarize themselves with the locations of the closest public bomb shelters or protected areas and to follow the instructions of the Home Front Command.

The advisory for the first time refers to Ben Gurion Airport, where American and European airlines refused to fly for a few days after a rocket fired from Gaza landed near the airport.

“Ben Gurion Airport is open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur,” the warning says.

According to the warning, government employees in Israel are restricted from traveling to most areas of southern Israel, which bore the brunt of the rockets fired from Gaza over the summer. Government employees also remain not permitted to use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.