SECURITY MESSAGE FOR U.S. CITIZENS: JERUSALEM AND NAKSA DAYS & RAMADAN
Sunday, June 5, 2016, will mark the commemoration of two separate events: Jerusalem Day and Naksa Day.
Jerusalem Day is a Government of Israel celebration of Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem during the 1967 War. The day is marked by ceremonies, and large gatherings, and a march through Jerusalem. In previous years, clashes have erupted between Israeli and Palestinian residents during marches.
This year’s main march will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Sacher Park, and conclude in the Old City. The Israeli National Police (INP) will enforce road closures throughout Jerusalem. The following street closures will be in effect:
• 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Bezalel and Mordehai A`liash St.
• 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: King George (from Tsarfat Square to Nathan Strauss Street), Agron (and adjacent streets), Shlomo HaMelekh, King David, Hativat Yerushalayim, Sultan Suleiman, Jericho Road, Ma’ale Hashalom, and Sderot Haim Bar Lev (from Moshe Sachs junction near Grand Court Hotel, to Hativat Yerushalayim).
Naksa Day (“Day of the Setback”) is observed by some Palestinians to mark Israel’s conquest and occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967. Palestinians have sometimes commemorated the day with protests and demonstrations in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. While the Consulate General is unaware of specific planned activities in Jerusalem, demonstrations and counter-demonstrations have occurred in past Naksa Days which resulted in clashes with INP.
Consulate General employees and family members are encouraged to exercise caution when traveling throughout Jerusalem, especially the Old City on Sunday, June 5. If they do travel to the Old City they are being told to avoid the use of the Damascus, Lion’s, and Herod’s Gates.
This year, Ramadan is expected to commence on/about June 6 and conclude on/about July 5. For U.S. Direct Hire (USDH) employees and family members the Old City is off-limits on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to overall congestion and associated security concerns. An increased number of visitors, heavy police presence, and traffic restrictions in and around Jerusalem’s Old City are expected.
United States citizens are reminded to maintain awareness of their safety and surroundings while living and working in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Israel. Large gatherings, even ones intended to be peaceful, can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Please be aware of your surroundings, monitor local information sources, and maintain a high degree of situational awareness as appropriate for this complex and fluid security environment.
We take this opportunity to remind U.S. citizens to review the Travel Warning issued for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza on December 16, 2015 and the Worldwide Cautionissued on March 3, 2016.
For further information:
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
· Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, located at 14 David Flusser, telephone (972) (2) 622-7230. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, located at 71 Hayarkon, telephone (972) (3) 519-7575. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, you may call the emergency after-hours number either in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7551 or Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7250.
· Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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I decided to google "Conquest of Jerusalem" and found the first reference to the Conquest of Jerusalem by King David some 3000 years ago . Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, Allenby captured it