International travel restrictions and security concerns in fear of rising tensions in the Middle East

International travel restrictions and security concerns in fear of rising tensions in the Middle East

Shafaq News/ Several countries have issued new travel guidelines for Israel and the surrounding region as the Israeli military stated its forces were "highly alert" for a potential Iranian strike in retaliation.

The anticipated attack is in response to the killing of military officers, including Brigadier-General Zahedi, a leader in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), along with his deputy and 11 others in a strike on the Iranian annex in Syria's capital.

United States

The US State Department on Thursday prohibited its employees from traveling to large parts of Israel, marking the first time the US government has restricted its employees' movements in this manner since the Gaza war began over six months ago.

The new guidelines banned US government employees and their families from traveling to locations outside the Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Beersheba metropolitan areas "as a precaution" until further notice. The State Department stated that US personnel could travel to these areas for personal reasons.

United Kingdom

On Thursday, Britain advised its citizens to "consider leaving" Israel and the Palestinian territories "if it is safe to do so."

The UK recommended its citizens avoid all non-essential travel to Israel and Palestine due to the "potential for an attack on Israeli territory from Iran."

In an update, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office cautioned against "all travel" to northern Israel, the Gaza Strip, areas near Gaza, and the occupied West Bank – excluding occupied East Jerusalem and Route 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


On Friday, India advised its citizens "not to travel to Iran or Israel," urging Indians to refrain from visiting the two countries until further notice given the "current situation in the region."

The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi advised Indian citizens in the two countries to exercise "utmost caution for their safety and limit their movements to essential purposes only."


The Netherlands announced on Saturday the closure of its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Erbil on Sunday due to escalating concerns about a potential escalation in the Middle East. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this decision in response to heightened tensions between Iran and Israel.

The travel advisory for Iraq designated the Kurdistan Region with an orange travel code, advising travelers to visit this area (Erbil, Al-Sulaymaniyah, and Duhok governorates) only if absolutely necessary. For the rest of Iraq, the advisory raised the alert level to red, indicating a high-risk environment where all travel is strongly discouraged due to safety concerns. The advisory emphasized the risk posed by violent demonstrations, primarily targeting Western individuals and interests.


On Friday, France warned its citizens to "absolutely refrain from traveling in the coming days to Iran, Lebanon, Israel, and the Palestinian territories," according to the foreign minister's office.

During a crisis meeting, France's Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne requested the evacuation of family members of French diplomats in Iran and prohibited French civil servants from being sent on missions to the mentioned countries.


Russia strongly advised its citizens to "avoid traveling to the region," citing security risks in Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the unstable situation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone and the area along the 'Blue Line' between Lebanon and Israel.


Poland's Foreign Ministry also discouraged travel to Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon, citing the potential for sudden military escalation, which could hinder departure from these countries.


Germany warned its citizens to leave Iran, specifically noting that escalating tensions could impact exit routes. The Foreign Office stated, "In the current tensions, particularly between Israel and Iran, there is a risk of sudden escalation.

Airways Companies

In separate announcements, Lufthansa extended its flight suspension to and from Tehran until Thursday and will avoid Iranian airspace during that period.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced the cessation of flights over Israel and Iran.

Wizz Air Holdings plc also postponed its Tel Aviv flights due to security concerns.

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