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03 Jan 2020 | 10:37 AM UTC

Israel/Palestinian Terr.: Government closes Mount Hermon amid heightened tensions January 3

Israeli officials close Mount Hermon ski resort due to security situation on January 3; heightened tensions in West Bank and Gaza Strip

security
ISR

Event

Israeli officials announced on Friday, January 3, that the Mount Hermon ski resort in Golan Heights will be closed until further notice due to the mounting security situation following recent events in Iraq. Heightened tensions are likely in Gaza Strip and West Bank, with protests possible over the coming hours and days.

Diplomatic sources have warned of a heightened security presence across Israel, particularly near the Lebanese border.

Context

The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3, claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW). According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike along with six other individuals.

Advice

Individuals in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.