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MULTIPLE COUNTRIES IMPOSE A TRAVEL BAN ON ISRAEL AND URGE CITIZENS IN THE COUNTRY TO REMAIN VIGILANT; IMMINENT WARNING OF IRANIAN ATTACK; CIVILIANS AND BUSINESS WORKERS TRAVELING TO ISRAEL BE CAUTIOUS

(The Situation Update Report [SUR] is a near real-time brief of a possible threat or situation being monitored by The Counter Threat Center.  The information is accurate at the time of reporting, but maybe subject to change.)  


Martina Elena Nitti, Lewis Li, Francesco Gallina

Anya Golend-Pratt, Jessica Wilson, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor

April 12, 2024


Travel to Israel Banned[1]


Current Situation:

Multiple countries have issued advisories against all travel to Israel, Iran, and Palestine citing risks of military escalation and degeneration of security conditions. The US recommended citizens in or traveling to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza should stay vigilant, avoid large crowds, and monitor embassy alerts.[2] The US Embassy in Jerusalem advised that in the event of mortar or rocket fire, treat “red alert” sirens seriously, follow local authorities, and seek shelter immediately.[3] The French Ministry urged its citizens to avoid travel to Israel and Palestinian territories in the coming days, cautioning those residing in the areas to remain vigilant and informed of the situation.[4] The Swedish embassy urges its citizens to register on the Swedish List and regularly communicate with their families.[5] British nationals in Gaza, who have a spouse or child aged 17 or under, and hold valid permission to enter or remain in the UK for longer than 6 months, can contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for support to leave.[6] The Indian Ministry advised its citizens in Iran and Israel to register with the Indian embassy and restrict their movements.[7] 


Day/Time of event: April 12, 2024


What is the current threat:

  • An Iranian attack on Israeli territory is almost certainly imminent, and will very likely cause an escalation of the Israel-Hamas War into a wider regional conflict. Such expansion will likely hinder chances for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in the short term.

  • Iranian retaliatory attacks will very likely target military and governmental Israeli infrastructures. Geographical characteristics of the region, such as the presence of desert and the distance between countries, will very likely mean attacks will utilize aerial warfare, including missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or suicide drones. Hamas and Hezbollah will likely exploit the situation to conduct mortar, rocket, and missile strikes against Israeli territory.

  • Future Iranian attacks and travel bans will almost certainly limit NGOs and international organizations operating in Israel and the Gaza Strip, very likely leading to further civilian casualties. An Iranian strike will almost certainly restrict movement possibilities for those residing in the region, especially tourists or visiting civilians.

  • More countries will very likely recommend all civilians to avoid traveling to Israel and Palestine as the situation escalates further.


Who will it directly impact:

  • Civilians residing in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iran

  • Hospitals and emergency services

  • Military personnel

  • Diplomatic services and personnel

  • Airports and civilian transportation hubs

  • Airline companies flying to and from Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iran

  • Non-governmental and international organizations within Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iran

 

[1] Israel, by Martina Elena Nitti and a third party database

[2] Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Travel Advisory, US Department of State, April 2024, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/israel-west-bank-and-gaza-travel-advisory.html 

[3] Security Alert:  U.S. Embassy Jerusalem, US Embassy in Israel, April 2024, https://il.usembassy.gov/security-alert-u-s-embassy-jerusalem-april-11-2024/ 

[4] Security situation in the Middle East, Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères, April 12, 2024, https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays-destination/israel-territoires-palestiniens/

[6] Foreign travel advice: Israel, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, April 2024, https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/israel 

[7] Travel advisory for Iran and Israel, Ministry of External Affairs, April 2024, https://www.mea.gov.in/press-releases.htm?dtl/37777/Travel_advisory_for_Iran_and_Israel 

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