Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Israel/West Bank: US Consulate Urges US Citizens to Avoid West Bank In Light of Abduction of Israeli Settlers, Soldier

According to http://www.imemc.org, as the Israeli military continues its massive crackdown on Palestinians throughout the West Bank, the US Consulate in Jeusalem issued a statement earlier today (June 17) to US citizens registered with the consulate as living, working or visiting Israel or Palestine, telling them to avoid travel to the West Bank and warning them to avoid any and all protests.

Israeli protests and attacks against Palestinians have already taken place in several places in the West Bank, following the disappearance of three Israeli settlers, including one soldier, from the southern part of the West Bank on Thursday, June 12.  

The three had been living in a settlement on illegally seized Palestinian land, in violation of international law and signed agreements, when they disappeared without explanation.  

COMMENT: The Israeli government has publicly blamed Hamas for the disappearance of the settlers, although Hamas has denied the accusation.  

Israeli military forces have kidnapped more than 150 Palestinians, including the head of the Palestinian legislature, and has launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and invasions of cities throughout the West Bank.  

The US Consulate in Jerusalem has warned US citizens to stay clear of the West Bank and has ordered its officials to also stay out of the Hebrón area, which is where the settlers disappeared from.

The US frequently issues travel warnings telling Americans to stay away from the Palestinian Territories and has, on numerous occasions, refused to provide any assistance to Americans who are detained, deported or injured by Israeli soldiers or settlers while in the West Bank or Gaza.