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      US Advisory Encourages Travel to Israel

      The US has toned down travel warnings to Israel and assures tourists, “Israel and the PA make considerable efforts to protect US citizens.”
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 12/23/2012, 10:42 AM

      Haifa
      Haifa
      Flash 90

      The US has toned down previous warnings of travel to Israel and assures tourists and b businessmen, “The Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority make considerable efforts to protect US citizens.”

      While noting that “the security environment remains complex in Israel,”  the advisory replaces a previous August warning, and in an unusual encouraging tone of encouragement, it continues, "Over three million foreign citizens, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, safely visit Israel and the West Bank each year for study, tourism and business.

      “The Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority make considerable efforts to protect US citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations.

      “Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and their surrounding regions, are comparable to or better than those in other major global cities. Tourists, students, and business people from around the world are welcome.”

      No similar assurances were issued for Palestinian Authority areas, including Bethlehem, where the PA is supposed to control terrorism, although official PA media frequently incite terror by praising suicide bombers and other “martyrs.”

      The travel advisory includes the usual notation that American citizens “should also take into consideration that US government personnel are not permitted to use public buses due to past attacks on public transportation and that US government personnel must notify the Embassy's Regional Security Officer before traveling in the areas surrounding Gaza and south of Be’er Sheva. Furthermore, U.S. government personnel are restricted from conducting personal travel to most parts of the West Bank.”