Updated Oct 11, 2023 - World

U.S. raises Israel advisory to Level 3 — reconsider travel

People wait in departing section at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel's only international airport, after many flights from abroad are cancelled due to the attacks launched by Palestinian factions in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 8, 2023.

People wait at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel's only international airport, in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 8 after many flights from abroad are canceled due to attacks by Hamas. Photo: Turgut Alp Boyraz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. State Department raised its advisory for Israel on Wednesday to "Level 3 — Reconsider Travel" due to the war with Hamas.

The big picture: The State Department said in a separate online post that it was "exploring contract options to facilitate U.S. citizen travel to nearby countries, and will provide updates to U.S. citizens who have registered via our online form."

  • It said commercial flights were available "even if they are not direct to the U.S." for American citizens who want to leave Israel.

Of note: Several airlines have canceled flights to and from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel's busiest airport, in recent days due to the escalating war between Israel and Hamas.

What they're saying: "Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza," states the State Department advisory, which notes the travel advisory for Gaza remains "Level 4 – Do Not Travel."

  • "Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities," the post states.  
  • "Violence can occur in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza without warning.  There has been a marked increase in demonstrations throughout Israel, some with little or no warning."
  • The State Department notes that some areas "have increased risk" and urges travelers to check its country information page for more details.

Go deeper: Israel's Netanyahu forms unity government with ex-Defense Minister Gantz

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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