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Messages for US Citizens

Security Message for American Citizens regarding Travel in Southern Israel, March 12, 2012

Violence continues to occur along the boundary between Israel and the Gaza Strip.  Terrorist groups fired rockets and mortars into Israel from Gaza over the weekend, and Israel continues to conduct military operations inside Gaza, including airstrikes.  In the past, some rockets have traveled more than 40 km (24 miles) from Gaza and landed as far north as Yavne and Gadera and as far east as Beersheva.  As a result of possible military operations by the Government of Israel in Gaza and the ever-present risk of rocket and mortar attacks into Israel from Gaza, U.S. government personnel travelling in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip boundary, including the city of Sderot, or traveling south of Beersheva,  must make prior notification to the Embassy's Regional Security Office.  

U.S. citizens in southern Israel should be aware of the risks and should take note of announcements by the Government of Israel’s office of Homefront Command at: http://www.oref.org.il/315-en/PAKAR.aspx.  U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise caution and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling in this region, and should monitor local news sources to find the latest information on the situation, as it can change unexpectedly. 

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Country Specific Information for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.  U.S. citizens are also encouraged to review "A Safe Trip Abroad", which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. 

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents. U.S. citizens living or traveling in Israel are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate General to contact them in case of emergency.

For further information, U.S. citizens may telephone the Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 630-4000 or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7575 during working hours. After hours (for emergencies), U.S. citizens may telephone either the Consulate General at: (972) (2) 622-7250, or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at: (972) (3) 519-7551.

Current information on travel and security in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or, from overseas, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed at http://israel.usembassy.gov  or http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov/.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler App for travel information at your fingertips. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.