The State Department issued an alert Thursday warning U.S. citizens overseas to exercise caution amid “increased tensions” around the world.
“Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” the alert said.
The department had several recommendations for U.S. citizens who are abroad. It said to stay alert in busy tourist locations, follow the department on social media and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which sends alerts and helps locate people in times of emergency.
The alert is the latest warning from the State Department amid the war between Israel and Hamas.
The State Department urged Americans in Lebanon on Thursday morning to make plans to leave “as soon as possible,” elevating an earlier warning that advised people not to travel to the country. The alert recommended U.S. citizens to leave the country as soon as they could and “while commercial options are still available.”
Demonstrations and violence have erupted in Lebanon amid the Israel-Hamas war. The advisory outlined that Americans in Lebanon should have plans to depart the country that do not rely on the U.S. government.
Last week, the U.S. government announced that it would be chartering flights for Americans that were stuck in Israel when the war began. Flights began taking off from Tel Aviv and stopping in Europe before making arrangements to bring U.S. citizens home.
Hamas launched the surprise attack against Israel on Oct. 7, causing many commercial airlines to pull out of the area.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy Hamas, resulting in a deadly counterattack that has increased international tensions.
In recent days, police have been on high alert for violence driven by antisemitic or Islamophobic sentiments. FBI officials have reported an increase of hateful rhetoric since the war broke out.
Airstrikes from Israel have hit Gaza, including areas declared as “safe zones.” More than 1 million Palestinians, roughly half of Gaza’s population, have been forced to flee after Israel told them to evacuate.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said 3,785 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 12,500 others have been wounded. More than 1,400 people in Israel were killed in the initial surprise attack.