US revises Eilat travel warning

Specific references to resort city removed after Israeli complaint.

Eilat 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Eilat 311
(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.
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.
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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."