(photo credit: Associated Press)
WASHINGTON — The US State Department revised its travel warning for Israel on Tuesday after the Israeli government complained it unfairly singled out the Israeli resort city, Eilat.
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The department replaced a warning issued just five days ago with a new version that eliminates references to Eilat, where it had advised visiting Americans to learn the location of bomb shelters due to a recent rocket attack.
The new warning says only that Americans in southern Israel "should be
aware of the risks and should follow the advice of the Government of
Israel's office of Homefront Command." It does not mention Eilat.
Israel's Tourism Ministry complained Monday the previous warning
unfairly singled out Eilat for precautionary advice but not Aqaba, which
is next door in Jordan. Last week, both cities were hit by rockets that
killed one person in Aqaba.
"This advisory gives a prize to terror and undermines regional stability
and the sense of security that Israel gives to everyone who enters the
country," the ministry said. "Differentiating Israel from its neighbor
that actually suffered loss of life is improper and lacks balance."
At the time, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley dismissed the
Israeli complaint. He said travel advisories are "based on our best
judgment of the assessment of risk wherever American citizens are
traveling. So I would say that it's not our judgment that the risk is
identical between the two locations."