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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 25 October, 2014

Govt warns Irish citizens: You may want to get out of the Middle East

Irish citizens in Lebanon “may wish to reconsider their need to remain in the country at this time”.

Image: Passenger airplane on runway via Shutterstock

THE GOVERNMENT HAS issued a warning to Irish citizens about travelling in the Middle East.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised people to exercise “extreme caution” when travelling in Israel and Palestine, and has urged citizens in Lebanon to think about leaving.

“Irish citizens currently in Lebanon may wish to reconsider their need to remain in the country at this time,” the alert from the Department reads.

The Department of Foreign Affairs  has a 5-point scale on whether a country is safe to visit, ranging from ‘take normal precautions’ – the lowest level on the scale – to ‘do not travel’, when a situation is considered extremely dangerous. Israel is now classed at the middle point on the scale while Lebanon is just one step away from a ‘do not travel’ warning.

People are advised not to travel to Gaza and the areas immediately adjacent to it, and to be extremely careful in all other parts of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Both Israel and Lebanon have a border with Syria, which looks increasingly likely to be attacked by western forces in the coming days as the US has said there will be “consequences” for what it says was the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians.

The warning for Israel and Palestine states that there is increased tensions in the West Bank with an increased possibility of violence between Palestinian protestors and Israeli security.

The DFA warning for Lebanon states that the political situation is fragile.

“Irish citizens in Lebanon are advised to exercise extreme caution, to avoid all protests and demonstrations and to monitor… local media for updates on the situation,” the warning states.

A stark warning at the end states that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.

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(Image: Google Maps)

Read: Irish soldiers ‘trained, ready, focused and looking forward’ to Syria mission >

Read: US Secretary of State urges Palestinians against settlements reaction >

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