Britain: Leave Israel due to risk of chemical terrorism,
The Jerusalem Post
March 17, 2003
The British foreign office on Monday warned British citizens to leave Israel and the territories citing among other reasons that "Terrorist attacks in the region could involve the use of chemical and biological materials."
"We advise against travel to Israel and Jerusalem. If you are already there, you should leave as soon as possible unless your presence is essential. If you do decide to stay you should maintain a high level of vigilance and observe the British Embassy/Consulate-General advice on security," said the statement.
Britain has also ordered staff dependents of the Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Consulate-General in Jerusalem to leave. "We are in the process of reducing our staffing to a core. Once we do so, our ability to offer normal consular services will be very restricted," it said.
"There is a risk of an attack against Israel from Iraq in the event of hostilities. This might involve chemical and biological weapons. The West Bank and Gaza Strip may be affected indirectly.
The risk of further terrorist attacks within Israel often targeting crowded public areas and transport, remains very high. This advice also applies to Jerusalem. Terrorist attacks in the region could involve the use of chemical and biological materials."
"There is also a risk of civil unrest and terrorist activity in the West Bank and Gaza. In the event of any conflict in Iraq, it is likely that Israel will close the West Bank and Gaza, making travel in and out of the West Bank and Gaza very difficult. We therefore advise against travel to the West Bank and Gaza. If you are already there, you should leave immediately."
The British Embassy and Consulate General are making arrangements to inform British nationals resident in the country of these changes.