US issues travel alert for Jerusalem, Israel, West Bank and Gaza

US issues travel alert for Jerusalem, Israel, West Bank and Gaza
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The Trump administration issued an advisory on Monday urging Americans to avoid traveling in areas of Israel and Palestinian-held territories including Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

An advisory from the U.S. Embassy in Israel did not provide a specific reason for the travel advisory, linking it only to heightened tensions in the Middle East.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning," the advisory reads.

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"In the event of mortar or rocket fire, a red alert siren may be activated. Treat all such alerts as real; follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space," the statement continued.

The possibility of a military conflict breaking out between the U.S. and Iran has grown in recent days following the death of a top Iranian official, Qassem Soleimani, in a U.S. airstrike outside of the Baghdad International Airport just days ago.

The strike, which some U.S. lawmakers including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns Sanders: Police departments that violate civil rights should lose federal funding MORE (I-Vt.) — a presidential candidate — characterized as an assassination, has brought U.S. forces and Iranian-backed militant groups to the edge of direct conflict even as U.S. strikes have targeted dozens of suspected militants in recent days.