State Dept. warns anew on travel to Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The U.S. State Department issued a new warning on travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

The warning issued Wednesday is the first since the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the 50-day conflict in Gaza. It acknowledges that the cease-fire continues to hold.

The warning, which references the rockets launched at Israel from Gaza, calls on U.S. citizens in Israel to familiarize themselves with the locations of the closest public bomb shelters or protected areas and to follow the instructions of the Home Front Command.

The advisory for the first time refers to Ben Gurion Airport, where American and European airlines refused to fly for a few days after a rocket fired from Gaza landed near the airport.

“Ben Gurion Airport is open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur,” the warning says.

The warning restricts government employees in Israel from traveling to most areas of southern Israel, which bore the brunt of the rockets fired from Gaza over the summer. Government employees also may still not use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.

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