State Department issues security message against travel to Golan


(JTA) — The U.S. State Department issued a security message to American citizens warning them against travel to the Golan Heights.

The warning issued by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem comes after at least six mortar rounds fired from Syria landed in the northern Golan Heights in Israeli territory in recent days.

“(W)e urge U.S. citizens to carefully consider and possibly defer travel to that area until the situation stabilizes,” the security message said.

Due to the recent mortar incidents, U.S. government employees are temporarily prohibited from personal travel to certain areas of the Golan Heights, according to the message.

“We remind you to be aware of your surroundings at all times, to monitor the media, and to follow directions of emergency responders,” the message said.

The mortars are believed to be spillover from the civil war in Syria. There has been an increase in fighting between the Syrian military loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebel groups near the Syrian border with Israel.

Several stray rockets and shells have landed in Israel since the start of the civil war in Syria more than five years ago. Israel frequently retaliates by firing at the source of the shells.

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