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East County News Service

October 19, 2023 (Washington D.C.) – Today, the US State Department issued a worldwide travel advisory. “Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.”

The State Department advises that U.S. citizens should stay alert in locations frequented by tourists; enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)) to receive security updates and make it easier to locate you in an emergency; and follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

There is also currently a do not travel advisory for Gaza and Lebanon, and a reconsider travel advisory for Israel and the West Bank.

The U.S. government has authorized the departure of family members of U.S. government personnel and some non-emergency personnel on a case-by-case basis from Mission Israel and Lebanon. 

It advises US citizens, who wish to leave Israel to go to Ben Gurion International Airport terminal three, where are US Embassy personnel can direct them to US chartered flights, through at least Sunday, October 22. U.S. citizens who wish to depart with U.S. government assistance must express their interest via the crisis intake form. U.S. citizens have successfully departed the West Bank and Israel into Jordan via the border crossings, including Sheikh Hussein and Allenby Bridge, and the State Department encourages U.S. citizens to take advantage of those options if possible and safe to do so.  

The State Department said it is working on potential options for departure from Gaza for U.S. citizens, and recommended “if you have not already done so, please complete the crisis intake form to provide contact information should we need to reach out to you on short notice.” It characterized the situation at the Rafah crossing as fluid and unpredictable, and states “If you assess it to be safe, you may wish to move closer to the Rafah border crossing – there may be very little notice if the crossing opens, and it may only open for a limited time.”


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