Foreign diplomats issue warnings as Gaza violence escalates 

Source: Foreign diplomats issue warnings as Gaza violence escalates | The Times of Israel

‘Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks,’ UK Foreign Office says in updated travel advisory; Dutch embassy in Tel Aviv remains closed

Palestinian evacuate a wounded man in Gaza City on November 12, 2019, after an Israeli airstrike killed a commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Palestinian evacuate a wounded man in Gaza City on November 12, 2019, after an Israeli airstrike killed a commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Foreign diplomats stationed in Israel on Tuesday expressed concern over spiraling violence, after terrorists in Gaza fired more than 60 rockets at the country in retaliation for the Israeli assassination of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander earlier in the day.

The European Union’s ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, said he was “extremely concerned” about the evolving security situation. “A rapid desecalation [sic] is needed, indiscriminate rocket fire is unacceptable. Need to protect all civilians,” he wrote on his personal Twitter account.

German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer similarly tweeted that she was following “with great concern the evolving situation after sirens heard this morning in various cities in Israel, and collecting all relevant pieces of information.” She added that she hoped “that there won’t be injuries. Stay safe.”

The United Kingdom on Tuesday morning updated its travel warning for Israel and the Palestinian territories in light of the fraught security situation.

“You should keep up to date with the news and this travel advice while travelling,” the Foreign Office in London said on its website, warning UK citizens against traveling to Gaza and to areas near Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon.

The updated travel advisory noted that on Tuesday “more than 60 rockets were launched from Gaza into Southern Israel and towards Rishon Le Zion and Holon,” and that Israel’s Home Front Command declared an emergency situation in southern Israel.

“The security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be fast moving, tense and unpredictable. You should be vigilant at all times and keep up to date with local media and travel reports,” the travel advisory warned.

“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” it said. “Attacks could be indiscriminate, including places frequented by foreigners, and on public transport.”

Several embassies in Tel Aviv, including those of Spain, Poland, Malta and Cyprus, urged heightened caution in light of the ongoing rocket attacks.

Thessalia S. Shambos@ThsShambos

The Dutch embassy announced that it would remain closed for the time being, noting that it would update citizens as the day progresses.

In the early hours of Monday, the Israel Defense Forces killed Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad terror group responsible for the firing dozens of rockets out of the Gaza Strip, prompting the massive retaliation.

 

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