The US State Department this week issued a travel advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

In a communique published on its web site, American nationals are explicitly warned against travel to Gaza and parts of the West Bank, save for Bethlehem and Jericho.

The State Department is expressly forbidding employees from using public bus service in Israeli cities, while anyone wishing to conduct business in the West Bank is required to coordinate their steps with the US Consulate General in Jerusalem in order to arrange for appropriate security.

US government employees are also required to notify security personnel before traveling to the Kassam-hit western Negev as well as the Golan Heights, where the atmosphere remains tense due to the ongoing bloodshed in neighboring Syria.

"In light of the threat of rocket or missile attacks, visitors and US citizens living in Israel should also familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter (often referred to as a secure or protected room)," the State Department said.

The American government is also warnings its citizens to take extra caution when traveling to areas near the Egypt and Lebanon frontiers.



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