Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gettin' out of Dodge...

I received this update from the Tel Aviv US Embassy this evening.  It seems like a good time to get on a plane to go to Greece for a week.  We leave at the crack of dawn for Mykonos and a wedding in Santorini.  I hear it won't be much of an escape from Israeli's, but it will be great to see friends from the States!

Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens Regarding Attacks in Eilat, August 18, 2011

An armed attack on a public bus occurred shortly after noon local time in southern Israel, north of Eilat near the Ein Netafim junction. Separate attacks on another bus and on a private vehicle, as well as a roadside explosion, have also been reported in the area in the same time period. Additional incidents have been reported in the press, but remain unconfirmed.

According to reports, Routes 10 and 12 leading to Eilat have been closed and the Ovda Airfield has been closed to all flights.  Police have reportedly established several checkpoints along Route 90, which remains open but is experiencing heavy traffic.

Emergency services and security forces are currently in the Eilat area to respond to the attacks and the Government of Israel has placed the country on its highest state of alert.  An Israel Defense Force public announcement has also recommended the public avoid the area to allow security and rescue services to respond to the incidents.

Until further notice, Mission employees and family members are required to receive approval before traveling south of the Be’er Sheva area. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel in this area until further notice.

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 are advised to maintain valid travel documents. U.S. citizens living or traveling in Israel are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate General to contact them in case of emergency
For further information, U.S. citizens may telephone the Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 630-4000 or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7575 during working hours. After hours (for emergencies), U.S. citizens may telephone either the Consulate General at: (972) (2) 622-7250, or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at: (972) (3) 519-7551.

Current information on travel and security in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or, from overseas,  a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed at  or  You can also download our free Smart Traveler App for travel information at your fingertips. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

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