On Friday, January 3, the French government issued a travel advisory, advising its citizens to exercise increased caution in Israel and the Palestinian Territories following the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike in Baghdad on Friday, January 3. French authorities advise against all travel near the borders with Syria and Lebanon, where additional security forces have been deployed and travel restrictions implemented within an area of 5 km (3 mi) from the country borders.
On a related note, Israeli officials announced on January 3, that the Mount Hermon ski resort in Golan Heights will be closed until further notice due to the mounting security situation in the region following recent events in Iraq. Heightened tensions are likely in Gaza Strip and West Bank, with protests possible over the coming hours and days.
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.
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.
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