State Department issues “worldwide caution” alert for U.S. citizens due to Israel-Hamas war

Author: CBS NEWS
Published: Updated:
Palestinian rescue a survivor from under the rubble of a destroyed residential building following deadly Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Sunday, May 16, 2021. The Israeli airstrikes flattened three buildings and killed at least 26 people Sunday, medics said, making it the deadliest single attack since heavy fighting broke out between Israel and the territory’s militant Hamas rulers nearly a week ago. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

The U.S. State Department issued a rare “worldwide caution” alert on Thursday for U.S. citizens overseas amid increased tension over the Israel-Hamas war. The alert advises U.S. citizens to “exercise increased caution” due to “the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”

Protests erupted at U.S. and Israeli embassies around the world, including those in Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco, after a deadly hospital blast in Gaza City killed hundreds on Tuesday. Israeli and Palestinian officials traded accusations over who was responsible for the devastating explosion. 

President Biden backed Israel’s denial of responsibility for the blast and said U.S. military data showed that Gaza militants were culpable.

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, the U.S. State Department has raised the advisory level for travel in Israel and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. On Thursday, the department issued a “do not travel” alert for Lebanon, which borders Israel to the north.

The last time the State Department issued a worldwide caution was in 2022 after the death of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, amid fears of anti-American violence.

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