U.S. State Department Releases A 'global Travel Alert' For American Citizens Traveling Abroad
The U.S. State Department releases a 'global travelalert' for American citizens traveling abroadas travelers passing through Miami International Airport have reported increased vigilance and awareness. The State Department's alert is driven by concerns about elevated tensions and the potential for violence targeting Americans. Notably, this alert comes amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which has resulted in thousands of casualties since it began on October 7.
The State Department is urging travelers to exercise caution in areas popular among tourists, and they recommend enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (SMART) to receive information and alerts. This enrollment can also aid in locating individuals in case of an emergency. Additionally, travelers are encouraged to follow the State Department's updates on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information.
The U.S. Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. We take seriously our commitment to provide U.S. citizens with clear, timely, and reliable information about every country in the world so they can make informed travel decisions.- A State Department spokesperson
"Keep your eyes open and have eyes in the back of your head and know what is around you," Debbie Payne of Fort Worth, Texas told reporters.
"I feel like people are taking this port unity to do anything they can right now. Right now as you travel, keep your eyes open and be aware of where you are at all times," added Payne's daughter Sarah. "Also, follow your local and federal governments on social media and do what they are telling you to do."
"They should be aware and look around, but what else can you do though?" Garth Been told reporters. "This will not stop us from going on vacation."
"Always be on your guard. Always be careful. Don't take unnecessary risks," Marie Been said. "This is all we can do to be careful."
"With things going on overseas, I am concerned. The safety of everyone, that is what concerns me the most, the safety of people, the safety of people going back and forth," Cheryl Reeves of Cleveland, Ohio, said. "Watch your back. Watch your surroundings. That is what I always do, watch my surroundings."
I am very concerned. People need to be extremely careful. I can not over-emphasize that. The problem is that when you are in another country, you are a target because you stick out.- Former F.B.I. Agent Stuart Kaplan
The warning is a response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, where there have been significant casualties. According to the Gaza HealthMinistry, as of Thursday, more than 3,785 people have been killed in Gaza, including over 1,500 children. In Israel, over 1,400 people have lost their lives, with the majority being civilians.
The State Department has also raised its travel advisory for Lebanon to Level 4, advising Americans not to travel there due to security concerns related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hizballah or other armed militant factions. Also, there are advisories in place warning against travel to Gaza and suggesting travelers reconsider visiting Israel and the West Bank.
Many Americans have been evacuating the region, with one instance being the evacuation of U.S. nationals from Haifa to Limassol, Cyprus, aboard a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship earlier this week.