The US State Department has updated travel advisories for Israel and the Gaza Strip, allowing government employees and their families to travel from Israel amid an unpredictable security situation. Relevant Statement published October 14 on the State Department website.
Terrorist groups and “other violent extremists” continue to plan possible attacks in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the State Department said. The US government, as emphasized in the statement, cannot provide routine or emergency services to its citizens in the Gaza Strip, since American government employees are prohibited from traveling there. The situation inside Gaza and on its borders is “dangerous and unstable,” and during periods of unrest or armed conflict, checkpoints between the Gaza Strip and Israel and Egypt may be closed, the State Department warns. When visiting the Gaza Strip, you must have an entry and exit plan that is “not dependent on U.S. government assistance.”
“The Embassy may impose even stricter travel restrictions on its personnel with little or no advance notice due to increased security concerns or threats,” the statement said.
Earlier today media reportedthat Israel and Egypt have agreed to open the Rafah crossing in the Gaza Strip so that US citizens can leave the territory.
On October 7, the radical group Hamas began military operations against Israel. The militants attacked army border units and entered Israeli populated areas, where they killed people and took an unknown number of hostages, both military and civilian. In response, the Israeli army launched Operation Iron Swords, which included the bombing of the Gaza Strip, and the government announced that the country had gone into a state of war. The total number of deaths during the clashes exceeded 3,000 people.
October 8 US President Joe Biden ordered provide additional support to Israel. Prior to this, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington was considering Israeli requests for additional military assistance.