US Embassy issues travel warning over settlements announcement

The warning issued Monday said the visiting Americans could be targets of “individuals and groups opposed to the Secretary of State’s recent announcement.”

IDF SOLDIERS KEEP guard in the Jordan Valley earlier this year. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
IDF SOLDIERS KEEP guard in the Jordan Valley earlier this year.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
JERUSALEM - The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a travel warning for visiting Americans in the aftermath of the U.S. announcement that the government does not consider the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank as illegal.

The warning issued Monday said the visiting Americans could be targets of “individuals and groups opposed to the Secretary of State’s recent announcement.” It covers those visiting or planning to visit Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

“Potential targets include public events, such as demonstrations, holiday events, and celebratory gatherings; hotels, clubs, and restaurants popular with U.S. citizens; places of worship; schools; shopping malls and markets; tourism infrastructure; public transportation and airports,” the statement said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement on settlements — a reversal of U.S. policy — that day.

The warning recommends that U.S. citizens “carefully consider risks to their personal safety and security at sites and events that are potential targets. In addition, U.S. citizens in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem should avoid non-essential movements and events that attract attention. U.S. citizens should carefully consider risks to their personal safety and security at sites and events that are potential targets.”

The U.S. government prohibits U.S. government employees to travel to the West Bank, including Jericho and Bethlehem, as well as to the Old City of Jerusalem.