It’s not just Israel and Gaza that travelers should avoid: The outbreak of a Mideast war has the U.S. State Department cautioning U.S. citizens of heightened risk of traveling anywhere internationally.
“Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” the agency said in its Oct. 24 alert.
Mideast Conflict Leads to State Department Warnings
U.S. citizens traveling abroad are advised to stay alert in locations frequented by tourists; enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive information and alerts and make it easier to be located in the event of an emergency; and follow the Department of State for alerts issued on Facebook and X.
Earlier, the State Department urged Americans in Lebanon to leave the country, and for those in Iraq to avoid protests and large gatherings that could turn violent. The agency continues to arrange charter flights for U.S. citizens looking to depart Israel; the next scheduled flights will depart Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 29.
“Some U.S. citizens seeking to depart have been successful departing the West Bank and Israel into Jordan via the border crossings, including Sheikh Hussein and Allenby Bridge,’ the agency noted in an Aug. 26 update to its Middle East travel warning. “We encourage U.S. citizens to take advantage of those options if possible and safe to do so.”
The State Department also is working to help U.S. citizens to evacuate Gaza. “If you assess it to be safe, you may wish to move closer to the Rafah border crossing—there may be very little notice if the crossing opens, and it may only open for a limited time,” the agency advised.
The State Department last issued a worldwide travel alert in August 2022 after the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The agency has issued more than a dozen such alerts in the last decade.