Israel: U.S. Released Biased Travel Warning in Wake of Eilat Attack

Recent update to Israel travel advisory asks Eilat tourists to ensure they are aware of nearby bomb shelters, while failing to cite Jordan's Aqaba, the site of the rocket attack's only fatality.

A travel warning recently released by the United States in the wake of a recent rocket attack on Israel and Jordan is signaling Israel out while ignoring the fact that the attack's only fatality was Jordanian, Israel's Tourism Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.


Last Thursday, the United States issued a travel warning to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Thursday, citing additional precautions as a result of a recent rocket attack on Eilat and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba which killed a Jordanian citizen was killed and wounded five others.

One rocket hit fields north of Eilat and another is believed to have landed in the sea. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but defense analysts believe Bedouin gangs operating in Sinai or the Global Jihad group are behind the attack.

Taking these new developments into account, the U.S. State Department issued a revised travel warning to Israel, saying that "U.S. citizens in Eilat and southern Israel are advised to ascertain the location of the nearest bomb shelter."

"In the past, some rockets have travelled more than 40 km from Gaza and landed as far north as Yavne and Gadera and as far east as Be'er Sheva," the travel warning said, adding that American officials must seek approval before travelling near the Strip "as a result "of possible IDF military operations in Gaza and the ever-present risk of rocket and mortar attacks into Israel from Gaza."

In Sunday's response to the U.S. travel warning, the Tourism Ministry said that the recent "update to the U.S. travel advisory to Israel is incorrect, singling out Eilat but not Aqaba, despite the fact that the rockets' only fatality was in the Jordanian city."

Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov plans to raise the U.S. State Department's August 5 travel warning with U.S. ambassador James Cunningham this week, either in a meeting or by telephone, his ministry said in a statement.

"Differentiating Israel from its neighbor that actually suffered loss of life is improper and lacks balance," the statement said.