The United States State Department on Friday issued a security alert to Americans visiting Israel, warning them of violent protests by settlers and other pullout foes over the coming weeks.

The warning repeats a travel warning issued on June 20, 2005 advising US residents to postpone any “unnecessary” visits to the West Bank, avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, and thoroughly consider the need to go to Israel.

“Pullout foes may engage may engage in acts which could spark violence,” the department said. “US citizens are therefore advised to avoid crowds [and]maintain a high level of caution, especially in public places and while using public transportation”.

The implementation of the first phase of the disengagement plan will start on Wednesday, which might lead to violent acts by settlers who oppose disengagement and want to disrupt it by any available means.

The State Department also said that Jerusalem could also be the scene of violent acts, especially at the city’s holy sites.