WASHINGTON - The State Department warned US citizens on Monday against traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, citing the fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas.

"The Department of State recommends that US citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to US citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip," the State Department said, adding the warning replaced a previous one issued on Feb. 3.

"The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and US citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel," the statement added.

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