Amid Tensions With Iran, US Orders Embassy Staff To Restrict Movement In Israel

(Photo credit MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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The American embassy in Israel issued a notice Thursday that it was restricting the movement of its staff and their families due to “an abundance of caution.”

The staff and their families are restricted “from personal travel” to the greater Tel Aviv area, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and between these areas, according to the public statement. (RELATED: REPORT: Indonesia, World’s Most Populous Muslim Country, To Recognize Israel For OECD Bid)

“This [notice] is provided for your information as you make your own security plans,” the statement read. The American government also noted that they reserved the right to further restrict or prohibit further travel by their employees and to do so “without advance notice”, the statement said.

While the notice did not directly mention Iran, tensions in the region have risen even further following Israel’s strike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1 that killed a very senior Iranian military official and other military advisers.

Iran, an enemy of Israel, has threatened to retaliate against Israel over this incident. Mohammad Jamshidi, an Iranian diplomat, said Iran warned the United States to “step aside [from defending Israel]  so you don’t get hit” and the United States “asked Iran not to hit American targets.” The U.S. State Department characterized the latter communication as the United States warning Iran to not target Americans rather than them “asking” Iran to refrain from such conduct.

The Biden administration expressed concern that Iran would still strike against American assets in its prospective retaliation against Israel, The Intercept reported. Israel already evacuated its embassies in various states and boosted security in others back on April 4 in anticipation of an Iranian strike, The Jerusalem Post noted.