US tells citizens to 'reconsider' travel to Israel

An explosion lights the sky following an Israeli air strike on Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
WASHINGTON —  The US State Department on Thursday urged citizens to "reconsider travel to Israel" due to the recent surge in violence between Israel and Palestinians.اضافة اعلان

The travel advisory level, which had been lowered in recent weeks due to improvement in the country's Covid-19 situation, was stepped up to Level 3, out of a maximum of four.

"Reconsider travel to Israel due to armed conflict and civil unrest," the department said in a statement.

"Rockets continue to impact the Gaza periphery and areas across Southern and Central Israel, including Jerusalem," it said. 

"There has been a marked increase in protests and violence throughout Israel."

Washington was also advising that Americans "do not travel" to Gaza due to "Covid-19, terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict," as well as avoiding the West Bank due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. 

The travel advisory came as Israel pounded Gaza and deployed extra troops to the border Thursday with the death toll of Palestinians on the fourth day of conflict climbing to over 100.