As the Israeli military continues its massive crackdown on Palestinians throughout the West Bank, the US Consulate issued a statement to U.S. citizens registered with the consulate as living, working or visiting Israel or Palestine, telling them to avoid travel to the West Bank and warning them to stay away from any protests.Israeli protests and attacks against Palestinians have already taken place in several places in the West Bank, following the disappearance of three Israeli settlers, including one soldier, from the southern part of the West Bank on Thursday, June 12th.
The three had been living in a settlement on illegally seized Palestinian land, in violation of international law and signed agreements, when they disappeared without explanation.
The Israeli government has publicly blamed the Hamas party for the disappearance of the settlers, although Hamas has denied the accusation.
Israeli military forces have kidnapped more than one hundred fifty Palestinians, including the head of the Palestinian legislature, and has launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and invasions of cities throughout the West Bank.
In response, the US Consulate in Jerusalem has warned its citizens to steer clear of the West Bank, and has ordered its officials to stay out of the Hebron area, which is where the settlers disappeared from.
The US consulate frequently issues travel warnings telling Americans to stay away from the Palestinian Territories and has, on multiple occasions, refused to provide any assistance to Americans who are detained, deported or injured by Israeli soldiers or settlers while in the West Bank or Gaza.