U.S. puts out travel advisory for Golan Heights in Israel

by WorldTribune Staff, September 15, 2016

The U.S. Embassy in Israel has issued a travel advisory for the Golan Heights after several mortar rounds fired from Syria landed in the northern Golan Heights in recent days.

“We urge U.S. citizens to carefully consider and possibly defer travel to that area until the situation stabilizes,” the embassy said in a statement.

View from Israeli Golan Heights of fighting in Syria. /Basel Awidat/Flash 90
View from Israeli Golan Heights of fighting in Syria. /Basel Awidat/Flash 90

“The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv continues to closely monitor the security situation and advises U.S. citizens to visit the website of the Government of Israel’s Home Front Command for further emergency preparedness guidance. Due to the recent mortar incidents, U.S. government employees are temporarily prohibited from personal travel into the area north of Route 87 and east of Route 918 in the Golan Heights,” the statement said.

The statement urged American citizens in Israel to “be aware of your surroundings at all times, to monitor the media, and to follow directions of emergency responders.”

In the latest incident, a projectile fired from Syria on Sept. 14 exploded on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. No injuries were reported.

On Sept. 13, the Israel Air Force (IAF) targeted artillery positions of the Syrian regime in the Syrian Golan Heights after three projectiles fired from Syria hit Israel.

The IDF said a mortar shell hit a kibbutz about a kilometer from the Israeli-Syrian border in the northern Golan Heights on Sept. 12.

Golan Regional Council head Eli Malka rejected the notion that the incidents were “spillover” from the Syrian conflict.

“There is no difference between deliberate firing and spillover. The mortar is the same mortar and it poses a risk to human life,” he said.