A US State Department advisory issued Friday warning Americans against visiting
Israel following last week’s rocket attacks on Eilat and Akaba raised the ire of
Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov.
The travel warning advises US citizens
to avoid travelling to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The report says
that Americans who visit Israel should be aware of the potential dangers, and
should not go to Gaza at all, and that Americans in Eilat and the rest of
southern Israel should keep track of the closest bomb shelter.
intends to meet with US ambassador James Cunningham early this week to protest the travel advisory,
especially the decision to single out Eilat but not Akaba, despite the fact that
the rockets’ only fatality was in the Jordanian city.
gives a prize to terror and undermines regional stability and the sense of
security that Israel gives to everyone who enters the country,” Meseznikov said.
“Differentiating Israel from its neighbor that actually suffered loss of life is
Sources close to Meseznikov said it was not the first time
that American travel advisories had discriminated against Israel. They said that
when Meseznikov complained in the past, the American Embassy in Tel Aviv and the
State Department in Washington pointed fingers at each other.
instructed Israeli tourism attachés around the world over the weekend to spread
word that Eilat was safe.