The US Consulate General in Jerusalem issued a statement Monday advising American citizens to take precautions before traveling in the West Bank.
Reacting to the operations being conducted by both the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian Authority security services against Hamas after the kidnapping of three Israeli teens Thursday night, the Consulate General advised travelers to “avoid areas of demonstrations, if possible, and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.”
It also stated that all travel by US government personnel in the Hebron area has been suspended until further notice.
In the four days since the kidnapping of Gil-ad Shaer, 16, Naftali Frankel, 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach, Israel has arrested more than 150 Palestinians — one of the biggest sweeps in recent years — with the searches focusing on the southern West Bank city of Hebron and the surrounding area.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed Hamas for the kidnapping of the three teenagers. Hamas has denied being behind the disappearance, but praised the abduction.
Stuart Winer contributed to this report.