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New U.S. Travel Advisory Stresses Caution in West Bank and Israel

The latest travel advisory released by the U.S. government for the West Bank and Israel has praised both the Palestinian Authority and Israel for the great efforts put forth to protect tourists. It says that conditions in Haifa and Tel Aviv are similar to if not better than many other large cities throughout the world.

On Thursday, the advisory by the State Department rolled back the alarm level that had been put out earlier in recent advisories, while at the same time advising caution when visiting the West Bank and Israel while advising visitors to not visit Gaza Strip.

The advisory said that more than three million citizens from foreign countries, including U.S. citizens in the hundreds of thousands, safely visit the West Bank and Israel annually for tourism, business and study. The Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government have made and continue to make considerable efforts for protecting citizens from the U.S. as well as other visitors to the major destinations in the area.

The advisory continued by saying that U.S. citizens however, should also consider that the government personnel of the U.S. are forbidden to use public transportation because of past attacks and that government personnel from the U.S. have to notify the security officer at the Embassy prior to traveling in specific areas near the South of Beesheva and Gaza.

It also said that personnel from the U.S. government have restrictions for conducting travel on a personal basis to most areas of the West Bank. Exceptions in the West Bank include Bethlehem and Jericho said the advisory.

Over the past six months, travel advisories by the U.S. have emphasized the probability of violence breaking out.

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