Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem (May 9, 2023)
The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem reminds U.S. citizens of the continued need for caution and increased personal security awareness as security incidents often take place without any warning. The security environment is complex and can change quickly depending on the political situation and recent events.
In response to security incidents and with little to no advance notice, the U.S. Embassy can further restrict or prohibit U.S. government employees and their family members from traveling to certain areas of Israel (including the Old City of Jerusalem) and the West Bank.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to consult the current Travel Advisory and Country Information for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, which advise U.S. citizens to be aware of the continuing risks of travel to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza due to the security situation and heightened tensions and warns against travel to Gaza. U.S. citizens are reminded that U.S. government employees are restricted from personal travel within seven miles of the Gaza demarcation line.
U.S. citizens can find additional information regarding steps to take in case of mortar and rocket fire in the Country Information for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza:
Mortar and Rocket Fire: In the event of mortar 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:
- Refer to our website for the latest Security and Health Alerts: https://il.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/and https://il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/security-and-travel-information/.
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings
- Avoid all areas where there is a heavy police presence
- 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.