Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem (May 18, 2021)

Location:  Israel and the West Bank

Event:  Rockets continue to impact the Gaza periphery and areas across Southern and Central Israel.  In addition, there has been a marked increase in protests and violence throughout Israel and the West Bank. Until further notice, U.S. government employees and their family members have been advised to limit personal travel to the city in which they reside, to remain close to home and/or close to a bomb shelter during daylight hours, and to remain indoors in their residences from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. the next day.

In response to the current security situation, U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv has temporarily suspended routine consular services (visa and passport appointments), and U.S. Embassy Jerusalem is operating at limited capacity.  Jerusalem’s consular section continues to honor already scheduled passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad appointments scheduled in Jerusalem.  We will resume services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  Emergency consular services for U.S. citizens in need continue to be our top priority.  Please visit the embassy’s website for more information about services for U.S. citizens:  As the security situation unfolds, we will contact you directly if your previously-scheduled appointment has been cancelled or postponed.

In the event of red alert sirens or active rocket attacks, U.S. citizens should remain sheltered until ten minutes after the last siren.  Please follow all guidance from the Israeli Home Front Command, where applicable.

U.S. citizens should review home shelter plans and ensure their bomb shelters are stocked with any items they might need when sheltering for an extended period, such as, water, food, comfort items for children and pets, phone chargers, a flashlight, and extra batteries.

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 employees and their family members are temporarily restricted from traveling to and through areas with active red alert sirens or rocket activity, to include the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon.  U.S. government personnel continue to be prohibited from travel to Gaza and areas in close proximity to Gaza.

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, as applicable.  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, as applicable.  Free commercial applications, such as Red Alert: Israel, are also available, as applicable.

Actions to Take: