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State Department warns Americans to avoid Israel, West Bank, Gaza and Yemen

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In this story:

'Maintain a low profile'

Employees moved out of consulate

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The "possibility for violent actions against United States citizens and interests throughout the world" prompted the State Department on Thursday to issue a worldwide advisory for U.S. citizens abroad and travel warnings for Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Yemen.

The worldwide advisory says the State Department is "extremely concerned" about the potential for anti-American activities. It cited Thursday's suspected terrorist attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden and "violent anti-American demonstrations ... in response to tensions and violence in the Middle East" at U.S. embassies throughout the world.

The advisory urges U.S. citizens to "maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness to reduce their vulnerability."

'Maintain a low profile'

The statement warns Americans traveling abroad to "maintain a low profile," to vary their routes and times of travel, and to "treat mail from unfamiliar sources with suspicion."

It adds that U.S. government facilities "will continue to temporarily close or suspend public services as necessary to ensure the safety of personnel."

In its travel warning for Yemen, the State Department cited Thursday's blast and several kidnappings of U.S. citizens in Yemen by "anti-Western terrorist" groups over the past year.

The advisory urges U.S. citizens not to travel to Yemen and warns those already there to register with the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a and "exercise a very high level of caution ... and travel between cities only by air or with an armed escort."

As a result of the escalating violence in the Mideast, the State Department also warned U.S. citizens against travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

The travel warning, updated from an advisory issued this past Saturday, also urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to east Jerusalem, including the Old City, as well as the Jaffa section of Tel Aviv.

Employees moved out of consulate

Additionally, the State Department urged Americans living in those areas to "stay at home or relocate to a safe location."

The U.S. government has moved its employees out of east Jerusalem, where the United States has a consulate, and has banned them from visiting all the Palestinian areas, including the Old City of Jerusalem, it said.

Reuters contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
International diplomatic efforts intensify to end Mideast violence
October 11, 2000
U.N. leader improves hopes for resolving Mideast crisis
October 10, 2000
Barak lifts deadline on Palestinians; says he'll attend U.S.-hosted summit if called
October 9, 2000
U.N. secretary-general heads for Mideast meeting with Arafat, Barak
October 8, 2000
Bus shooting caps turbulent day in Middle East
October 7, 2000
Israel closes Palestinian borders anticipating more violence
October 6, 2000
Gaza fighting subsides despite failure at talks
October 5, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Israel Defense Forces
Addameer: Palestinian Human Rights Association
  • September 2000 Clashes Information Center
Live Western Wall Camera at Aish
Official Palestinian National Authority Web site
Government: Palestinian National Authority
The Israeli Government's Official Web site
About the West Bank
U.S. State Department

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