WASHINGTON (Jun. 18)
The United States Government is warning American tourists to stay away from all Israel-Arab cease-fire lines, State Department officials said today. The warning has been issued on an informal basis by American embassies and consulates for several months since the frontier strife worsened.
U.S. officials said the death yesterday of Shirley Louise Anderson, of Rochester, N.Y., illustrated the gravity of the situation near the cease-fire lines. She was killed by Iraqi shell fire on Kallia Beach on the northern tip of the Dead Sea.
A statement by Israeli Minister of Tourism Moshe Kol, issued in Israel today, warned visitors to avoid cease-fire lines. State Department sources said the U.S. Government found that such a warning was sound advice that Americans should heed. Mr. Kol said, “I suggest that tourists do not visit border areas in particular, but instead tour other areas.” He made it clear that compliance would be left to the individual.
An Israeli Tourism Ministry spokesman said yesterday right after the incident that he hoped the killing of the young American tourist by shells fired from Jordan “will not have an adverse affect” on tourism. Chaim Klein, Ministry spokesman, said it was the first case of an attack on tourists, although in several cases tourists have had to run for shelter. Miss Anderson was the first foreign tourist fatality since the 1967 war. Her body will be flown to the United States. Amman Radio blamed Israel for the fatality, claiming Israel deliberately endangered the lives of foreign visitors for propaganda advantages. Kallia, where the 122-millimeter shells fell, is popular as a health spa with fresh springs. It is less than a mile from the cease-fire line and has come under sporadic rocket and artillery fire.