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London, United Kingdom
July 25, 2001
The danger to tourists, however, is not as serious as many assume. Throughout the recent disturbances in Israel and the Occupied Territories, tourist have not been targeted. Serious fighting or rioting which happens from time to time also tends to be localised and can be easily avoided. The key is to seek local information and take heed of advice. There are also daily television and radio news programmes in English, French and Russian. Generally, trouble spots are effectively cordoned off by the authorities, and there is little risk of getting mixed up accidentally.
In general, the recent troubles have occurred in East Jerusalem and many areas of the Old City. Consular advice suggests that these areas should only be visited in daylight and in an organised group. It should also be noted that there have been a number of disturbances around the al-Haram and the Wailing Wall on Friday evenings and extra care should be taken at this time. Unfortunately, the al-Haram complex is frequently out of bounds to non-Muslims, due to the risk of disturbances, and there have been occasions where the complex has been closed to all visitors.
If you are misfortunate and find yourself threatened by violent demonstrations or rioting, it is best to make it clear that you are a tourist and disinterested in the dispute. You should then seek help from any police or army personnel in the area, failing that, ask if you can take refuge in somebody's shop or house.
You should also be aware that there have recently been a number of bomb attacks in public areas and on buses. Jerusalem has not been affected by this as much as some other parts of Israel, but the risk remains.
Standard consular advice is to avoid crowded areas. How one can do this while on holiday is not clear but travellers should be aware of this warning.
From journal Jerusalem, the golden city
New York, New York
July 24, 2001
From journal Middle East trip
new york, New York
June 6, 2000
From journal Israel in Five Days