OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
12:27 PM – Thursday, October 12, 2023
The United States has altered its travel advisory warning on Israel to “Level 3” due to the tragic attacks on the country, suggesting that American citizens should “reconsider” their plans to travel there.
Over a thousand people have been killed and thousands more have been injured since the Islamic terrorist group, Hamas, launched a surprise invasion from Gaza into Israel last Saturday.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced a state of “alert for war” in the country early on Saturday morning.
The city of Gaza is currently set at “Level 4,” which is known as a “do not travel” zone.
“Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza,” the State Department wrote in its advisory. “Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.”
“Violence can occur in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza without warning. There has been a marked increase in demonstrations throughout Israel, some with little or no warning,” the warning continued.
Additionally, the State Department further warned American citizens that are planning to travel to Israel in the near future to familiarize themselves with the nearest bomb shelters wherever they may be visiting.
This past Sunday, Israel officially declared war against Hamas.
The country has since deployed thousands of military troops to the border surrounding Gaza. According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a ground invasion of Gaza has the possibility of approaching.
The U.S. has committed to providing full support to Israel as the tragic attacks are ongoing. President Joe Biden has commanded that two U.S. aircraft carriers should deploy to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to assist with the war.
“The arrival of the world’s largest aircraft carrier – the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group – in the Eastern Mediterranean yesterday sends a strong signal of deterrence should any actor hostile to Israel consider trying to escalate or widen this war,” the White House said in a statement.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has continued to recommend U.S. airlines and pilots to “use caution” when located in an Israeli airspace. Therefore, the agency declared a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) to pilots on Saturday.
The NOTAM stated that there is a “potentially hazardous situation” and “operators are advised to exercise extreme caution.”
Additionally, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) declared a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) for the airspace of Israel on Sunday, encouraging that air operators “ensure that a robust risk assessment is in place together with a high level of contingency planning for their operations and to be ready for short notice instructions from the Israeli authorities.”
As of Thursday morning, all prominent U.S. airlines and many foreign aircraft carriers have suspended flights to and from Israel. American Airlines made the decision to cancel flights that were scheduled to travel to and from Tel Aviv until December 4th.
“We continue to monitor and will make any additional adjustments as needed,” American Airlines explained in a statement to ABC News.
Delta Airlines has also announced that it has suspended flights to the area under attack specifically through the end of October. Other major airlines, including United and Air Canada, similarly suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv until “conditions allow them to resume.”
Other major airlines, including United and Air Canada, have also suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv until conditions allow them to resume.
“Our hearts are with those who are impacted as our people work to find safe alternatives for customers trying to depart to Tel Aviv,” said Delta Airlines.
American citizens in Israel have been told to “follow local government advice to increase their security awareness and remain safe,” the State Department said.
U.S. citizens who are in need of assistance are recommended to fill out a crisis intake form in order to contact their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
“U.S. citizens who wish to leave and can do so safely are advised to check the status of the border crossings or verify flights have not been canceled before heading to the Ben Gurion Airport,” the State Department claimed.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts