Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
Israeli and American flags in Jerusalem

The United States has taken steps to warn its citizens in Israel to “remain vigilant and take appropriate steps” to increase their security awareness as security incidents, “including rocket fire, often take place without warning.”

The alert comes in the wake of threats by the Islamic Republic of Iran to turn Haifa and Tel Aviv “into dust” together with attacks on select American targets in retaliation for the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani last by in a US drone strike.

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The alert that was sent to American citizens on Monday advised them that in the event of mortar or rocket fire, “a red alert siren may be activated. Treat all such alerts as real; follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space.

“US government personnel and their family members may be restricted from traveling to areas affected by rocket activity, sirens, or the opening of bomb shelters,” the alert continued – which could conceivably relate to anywhere within Israel at this point, given the wide range of the rockets and missiles which Iran has gifted its proxy terror groups in Lebanon and Gaza — including the site of the US Embassy branch in Tel Aviv, and the US Embassy itself in Jerusalem.

Citizens are advised to:
• Keep a low profile
• Be aware of your surroundings
• Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists
• Review your personal security plans
• Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible
• Avoid all demonstrations
• Monitor local media
• Follow the instructions of local authorities
• Enroll in the “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” of the State Department / US Embassy, and
• Regularly monitor the State Department’s website for updated Travel Advisories.

Those who need more information are referred to the website of the IDF Home Front Command (within Israel.)

Most of the above is irrelevant for dual Israeli-US citizens who have chosen to make their homes here, and who already know how to deal with security situations. But for those who are visiting or who plan to visit, it’s not a bad idea to review this list and take a minute just to familiarize yourself with the concept of “safety first” – and to understand that you are deeply valued by both governments and by two administrations who really care about whether you live or die as a Jew.

A refreshing change, right?

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.