US and UK issue Israel travel warning over Iran attack threat

Officials believe a direct attack on Israeli soil could happen as soon as Fridays


Passengers look at a departure board at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 7, 2023, as flights are canceled because of the Hamas surprise attacks. The conflict sparked major disruption at Tel Aviv airport, with American Airlines, Emirates, Lufthansa and Ryanair among carriers with cancelled flights. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP) (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The US issued a travel warning for Israel as officials believe a direct attack by Iran could be imminent.

The US Department of State issued the travel advisory on Thursday, urging citizens to reconsider travel plans to Israel due to an “unpredictable” security situation and the threat of “terrorism and civil unrest.”

The advisory notice said: “Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.”

Washington and its allies have contended that a major attack on Israel by Iran is imminent and may be launched in the coming days, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing officials familiar with the intelligence.

According to US and Israeli sources, Iran’s retaliatory attack for a strike that killed seven Iranian military officers almost two weeks ago has become a matter of when, not if. 

The Islamic Republic’s response to the killing of an Iranian general in Syria on 1 April, which Tehran has blamed on the Jewish state, could involve precision missiles being launched at Israel, according to the sources.

Israel’s allies have reportedly been told that government and military structures may be targeted but civilian facilities are not expected to be. However, the US State Department advisory urged Americans in Israel not to travel outside major cities, which are better protected from rocket fire by the country’s Iron Dome defense system.

As of Friday, France, the UK, Canada and Australia have all issued travel warnings for Israel. 

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