May 13, 2011
Dear U.S. Citizens located in the State of Israel:
The purpose of this communication is to notify you of demonstrations planned for this weekend:
Sunday, May 15th is known as “Nakba Day.” Some Palestinians mark this date to protest the establishment of the Jewish state and numerous demonstrations are expected to take place. The Israeli National Police and Israeli Defense Force are preparing for the possibility of disturbances throughout Israel and the West Bank, beginning this Friday.
In addition to the highlighted activity below, spontaneous demonstrations can occur throughout Israel. As always, please be aware of your surroundings and remember that protests intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. Avoid areas of demonstrations and maintain a high level of vigilance and situational awareness while traveling to mixed Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. For example, Um al-Fahm on Highway 65 has been an area of protest in the past.
Friday, May 13th
– Calls made to gather in mosques within Israel and the West Bank.
– Protest planned for the Shabra Junction in Baqa Al-Gharbiya, located northeast of Netanya, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
– Rally planned for the soccer stadium in the town of Kafr Qana, located northeast of Nazareth, at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 14th
– A 4:00 p.m. march from the Clock Tower in Jaffa towards Gan Ha-Shnaim will take place. 20 buses from all over the country are expected to bring participants to this march.
– Fatah activists from Jerusalem have announced massive demonstrations at the Nablus Gate of the Old City.
– A march along Route 1 from Shua’afat refugee camp to Beit Jubrin will take place. Both towns are located in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
Sunday, May 15th
– Numerous demonstrations are planned in West Bank towns and border crossings.
– Hundreds of activists intend to demonstrate on the Lebanese side of the northern border of Israel near the village of Marun Al-Ras.
– Numerous demonstrations are planned along the borders of Syria, Egypt and Jordan.
U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem released the following Warden Message regarding demonstrations planned for Nakba Day in Jerusalem and the West Bank:
As a precaution, the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is restricting personal travel by official U.S. personnel and their family members to Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank (specifically, Jericho and Bethlehem) during this period. U.S. citizens are encouraged to defer travel to these areas as well. U.S. citizens should also take extra precautions in East Jerusalem, especially when travelling in the vicinity of the Old City, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, and Issawiyah.
Access restrictions to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and a heavy police presence within the Old City and its environs are anticipated at entry points, to include the Damascus, Herod’s, and Lions’ gates, in addition to random security checkpoints set up along main thoroughfares to the Old City. U.S. citizens should keep in mind the possibility that the GOI may restrict access to areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank with little or no warning. Where possible, avoid all checkpoints and areas near the West Bank separation barrier.
To stay current on breaking news developments, please monitor http://www.ynetnews.com/ and other English language news sites. U.S. citizens can also find up to date security and safety advice from the Government of Israel’s Office of Homefront Command, at: http://www.oref.org.il/315-en/PAKAR.aspx.
U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. U.S. citizens are also encouraged to review “A Safe Trip Abroad” , which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.
U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to maintain valid travel documents and to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security issues.
If you need specific assistance from the U.S. Embassy, contact our switchboard during office hours (03-519-7575). Outside of office hours, contact 03-519-7551 and your call will be transferred to the Embassy’s duty officer. For routine inquiries, please email the American Citizens Services Unit at AMCTelAviv@state.gov . To subscribe to receive additional Warden and other messages from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, go to the following link and enter your email address in the box on the right-hand side of the screen: http://israel.usembassy.gov/service.html.
American Citizen Services Unit
U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv