Location: Gaza, Southern and Central Israel
Event: Rockets continue to impact the Gaza periphery and areas across Southern and Central Israel. U.S. government employees and their family members are temporarily restricted from personal travel to and through areas with active red alert sirens or rocket activity, to include the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, as the situation remains unpredictable. Personnel currently living or working in these areas are advised to remain close to a protected space. U.S. government personnel continue to be prohibited from travel to Gaza and areas in close proximity to Gaza.
The Israeli Defense Forces have established a 40-kilometer zone outside Gaza. When traveling within this zone, U.S. citizens should expect to see an increased military and police presence. This zone refers to the area where the Israeli government can use emergency powers as necessary (i.e., school closures, business closures, population evacuations). U.S. citizens should follow all Israeli Home Front Command and police guidance and use a navigation app, such as WAZE, on a smart phone/device.
In addition to rocket fire, there has been an increase in demonstrations, protests, and violent clashes. U.S. citizens should be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution. U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds, know where they are going and be familiar with their route, and use a navigation app, such as WAZE, as the Israeli National Police will re-direct traffic based on road closures and security enforcement activities.
As security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. In the event of mortar and/or rocket fire, a red alert siren may be activated. Treat all such alerts as real; follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space. U.S. government personnel and their family members may be restricted from traveling to areas affected by rocket activity, sirens, and/or the opening of bomb shelters. For additional information on appropriate action to take upon hearing a siren or explosion, see the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command website (available on devices within Israel) or view the Preparedness Information PDF. U.S. citizens may also wish to download the free Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command application on Android or Apple devices to receive real-time security and safety alerts. Free commercial applications, such as Red Alert: Israel, are also available.
Actions to Take:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Avoid all demonstrations
- Monitor local media
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Enroll in the Department of Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency.
- Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Advisories (including the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza) and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Information for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. For additional information, refer to “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.
- U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser St.
- U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon St.
- State Department – Consular Affairs
- 888-407-4747or 202-501-4444
- Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Country Information
- Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Travel Advisory
- Enroll in Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
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