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U.S. Consulate issues warning on West Bank travel

JTA

June 16, 2014 | 1:58 pm

<em>Israeli soldiers walk near a burning tire during clashes with Palestinian stones throwers in the West Bank City of Hebron on June 16. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters</em>

Israeli soldiers walk near a burning tire during clashes with Palestinian stones throwers in the West Bank City of Hebron on June 16. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters

American citizens should take precautions and avoid demonstrations during travel in the West Bank, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem warned.

The Security Message for U.S. Citizens was emailed Monday to American citizens living in Israel who are registered with the consulate. It follows the increased security presence and operations by Israeli and Palestinian forces throughout the West Bank, particularly in the Hebron area, following the kidnapping of three Israeli teens on the evening of June 12.

All travel by U.S. government personnel into the West Bank in the Hebron area and parts of the Gush Etzion, a bloc of settlements located south of Jerusalem, have been suspended until further notice, according to the message.

“The U.S. Consulate General takes this opportunity to remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence,” the message said. “U.S. citizens should avoid areas of demonstrations, if possible, and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.”

The Consulate General also warned Israeli-Americans to maintain valid travel documents.

The U.S. State Department frequently issues travel warnings for the West Bank and certain areas of Israel.

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