Jerusalem mayor calls on US to cancel travel warning ahead of Trump’s announcement on city’s status

Jerusalem is preparing for celebrations, not violence, Barkat said ahead of Trump’s historic announcement on Jerusalem’s status.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Wednesday called on the White House to rescind a travel advisory warning US government employees and their family members that “until further notice,” they must not “conduct personal travel in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank.”

The US embassy in Tel Aviv issued the warning on Tuesday, ahead of a pending declaration by President Donald Trump that the US officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move the Palestinians are threatening to counter with violence.

Official travel by US government employees is permitted only to conduct essential travel and with additional security measures, the advisory said. US citizens should avoid areas where crowds have gathered and where there is increased police and or military presence.

Responding to the warning, Barkat told IDF Radio on Wednesday that Jerusalem is preparing for celebrations and that Israeli security forces are well prepared to contend with any threat.

Commenting on the possibility of Palestinian violence, former Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon told IDF Radio that while Israel must be prepared, such a threat should not dissuade Trump from moving ahead with the historic announcement.

“The Arabs opposed Israel’s announcement of independence, so we should have ceded the announcement?” Ya’alon asked.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency), the Israel Police and other Israeli security forces convened this week to assess the situation and prepare for potential Palestinian riots and terror attacks.