US warns citizens of Gaza travel

US urges Americans not to infiltrate Gaza, be cautious in Jerusalem.

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER
June 21, 2010 22:08
2 minute read.
White House

White House 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON – The US State Department is cautioning American citizens not to participate in future attempts to infiltrate Gaza by sea as part of a new travel warning released late Sunday night.

“US citizens are advised against traveling to Gaza by any means, including via sea. Previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea have been stopped by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in the injury, death, arrest and deportation of US citizens,” the warning states.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Gaza still off limits to dignitaries
German minister denied entry to Gaza

The new travel advisory comes after Israel requested that countries issues such directives to discourage further attempts to break the Gaza blockade, following a May raid in which IDF commandos killed nine passengers, one a Turkish-American, on a ship that refused to be inspected in Israel.

On that ship as well as the five others in the same flotilla, many Americans were arrested and deported, with several sustaining various degrees of injury.

The Foreign Ministry earlier welcomed a similar warning issued by Britain last week, saying that such statements were significant because they made it clear that these governments view the attempt to break the blockade negatively, and hint that those who do take part in the flotillas anyway should not later come to their home governments looking for support.

Consular ability to aid US citizens in Gaza is 'extremely limited'



The US travel warning noted that American diplomats’ limited access to Gaza meant that “the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to US citizens there is extremely limited.”

It also recommended more generally that US citizens not to travel to Gaza or the neighboring Israel towns hit by rockets attacks; be cautious in Jerusalem, particularly on holy days and near public spaces targeted by terrorists; and be aware that Israel routinely imposes closures on the West Bank and can otherwise make it difficult for Americans to travel in the area.

The new advisory came out hours before Defense Minister Ehud Barak landed in Washington for a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Monday in which the flotilla raid featured prominently.

Other top agenda items included Israel’s broader policy toward Gaza, the American-brokered indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and Iran.

The last issue was particularly informed by the new round of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council over Tehran’s refusal to accede to international demands that it halt the enrichment of uranium.

Israel has supported the US effort on sanctions, but Barak has warned Gates that there should be a time limit in which the sanctions would be allowed to work.

Barak is expected to press the issue when he meets later in the week with members of Congress who are involved in drafting new US sanctions legislation.

Barak is in the United States to participate in the conference of the Socialist International, a global organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties, in New York later Monday and on Tuesday. He was due to meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon shortly after press time Monday.

He will return to Washington on Wednesday for two further days of meetings with Obama administration officials, including top White House aides and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Related Content

Kale, quinoa and avocado salad
August 18, 2018
Israeli's avocados taking Europe by storm

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA