US State Department lifts travel ban on Old City of Jerusalem

Embassy announces end to travel bans imposed on Jerusalem's Old City, parts of Samaria following declaration that settlements not illegal.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Western wall and the Temple Mount
Western wall and the Temple Mount
Mati Amar/TPS

The US State Department has lifted its travel ban on the Old City of Jerusalem, which had been imposed last month following fears of attacks targeting Americans in response to the State Department’s declaration on the legality of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.

On Monday, the US Embassy in Jerusalem announced that travel bans to the Old City of Jerusalem and other areas had been lifted.

The State Department had imposed the travel bans on November 18th and the 23rd, following a declaration by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US does not consider Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria to be illegal under international law.

Fearing violent attacks by local Arabs on US personnel, the State Department banned all US government employees from visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority cities of Bethlehem and Jericho, and from using portions of Route 1, Route 443, and Route 90.

“The U.S. Embassy has lifted the prohibition on U.S. government employee travel to all quarters of Jerusalem’s Old City (announced in the Security Alerts of November 18 and 23, 2019), but may occasionally restrict travel to the Old City based on the security environment. U.S. government employees are also now permitted to travel on the portions of routes 1, 90, and 443 that traverse the West Bank, as well as to the cities of Bethlehem and Jericho. The U.S. government continues to prohibit personal travel by U.S. government employees to Gaza and most of the West Bank,” the embassy announced Monday.

“The U.S. Embassy continues to advise U.S. citizens in or considering travel to or through Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness in light of the current environment.