Security Message for U.S. Citizens – Additional Security Recommendations for Jerusalem and Old City

This is in addition to the Security Messages issued on October 13 & 15, 2015, the recommended restrictions of which remain in effect except as noted below.

The U.S. Consulate has prohibited U.S. government employees and their dependents from using the Jerusalem Light Rail north of the City Hall stop along Jaffa Road.

U.S. government employees and their dependents may enter the Old City during daylight hours only (from 8:00 am -6:00 pm), but they must check-in with the Consulate prior to entering the Old City, and must check-out again with the Consulate upon leaving the Old City.  Travel to the Old City after dark (6:00 pm -8:00 am) continues to be restricted for U.S. government employees unless a visit is deemed mission essential and receives permission and support from the Consulate’s Security Office.  The Consulate strongly advises avoiding the use of the Damascus, Lions, and Herod’s gates in the Old City as these locations have been the scene of past attacks.

U.S. government employees and their dependents may now drive through the West Bank portion of Route 443, but are prohibited from turning off the main highway.

U.S. government employees and their dependents are prohibited from personal travel to Bethlehem, and personal travel to Jericho requires advance approval by the U.S. Consulate.  U.S. government employees are only permitted to travel to the West Bank for official, mission-critical business.

We recommend that private U.S. citizens take into consideration these restrictions and the additional guidance contained in the Department’s travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza when making decisions regarding their travel.

While we make every attempt to provide timely and accurate information, the unpredictability of clashes remains a concern and underscores the importance of “situational awareness” in this dynamic security environment.  Please be aware of your surroundings at all times, monitor the media, avoid demonstrations and other crowds, and follow directions of police and other emergency responders.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Israel, theWest Bank and Gaza.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, located at 71 Hayarkon, telephone (972) (3) 519-7575. The Consulate General in Jerusalem is located at 14 David Flusser, telephone (972) (2) 622-7230. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, you may call the emergency after-hours number either in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7551 or Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7250.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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