US warns citizens in Israel to be on high alert after string of attacks
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US warns citizens in Israel to be on high alert after string of attacks

Citing uptick in stabbing and shootings, diplomatic mission urges Americans to ‘maintain high degree of personal awareness’

Security forces and and medics at the scene of a stabbing attack that killed one and injured nine others in Jaffa on March 8, 2016. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Security forces and and medics at the scene of a stabbing attack that killed one and injured nine others in Jaffa on March 8, 2016. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The US diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem warned American citizens in Israel to maintain heightened awareness, following a week of Palestinian shooting and stabbing terror attacks.

“During the last few months, and in particular over the past several days, there have been a number of attacks in Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank that have resulted in injury and death to multiple individuals, including to US citizens,” a security message sent to American citizens in Israel on Wednesday evening read.

“Given these recent events and the continuing dynamic security environment in these areas, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and the US Consulate General in Jerusalem remind US citizens of the need to maintain a high degree of personal situational awareness and to monitor local media for information about breaking events.”

The warning came a day after Taylor Force, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University on a school trip to Israel, was killed in a stabbing attack by a West Bank Palestinian that wounded as many as 10 people at and near Tel Aviv’s Jaffa Port. Earlier the same day, Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem and the central Israel town of Petah Tikva left an ultra-Orthodox man and two Border Police officers seriously injured.

File: Vanderbilt graduate student Taylor Force was killed Tuesday, March 9, 2016 in a terror attack in Tel Aviv- Jaffa. (Facebook)
File: Vanderbilt graduate student Taylor Force was killed Tuesday, March 9, 2016 in a terror attack in Tel Aviv- Jaffa. (Facebook)

The message said, “In view of the current security environment and the possibility of future attacks,” US government employees are prohibited from visiting Jerusalem’s Old City unless “specifically approved for mission critical travel.”

The prohibition is in place until March 16 and could be extended, the message said.

The message also reminded US citizens “to exercise heightened caution in areas around the Damascus, Lion’s and Herod’s gates to the Old City, as these locations have been the scene of past attacks.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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