From Cairo to Tunis the Middle East & North Africa express serious concerns over reports that President Trump will either relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel.
Security Insights below: “Days of Rage” ahead + Tips for U.S. Citizens & Travelers abroad.
The Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian governments said that President Trump called them on Tuesday (December 5, 2017) to inform them he intends to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a step that could set the Arab world on fire.
“U.S. President Donald Trump will likely waive the requirement to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for another six months, Reuters reported Nov. 30. On Nov. 29, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Trump is actively considering relocating the embassy. In June, Trump waived a law requiring the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The waiver is up for renewal every six months.”
Day of Rage
After the Arab Spring the Middle East and North Africa witnessed several so called Day of Rage. Usually this translated into massive protests, unrest and violence.
A prime example of this phenomena was the so called “trailer” entitled Innocence of Muslims. On September 4, 2012 Reuters stated in an article that the film was very controversial as it depicted the Islamic prophet, Muhammad “as a fool, a philanderer and a religious fake”. This triggered a powerful series of events that eventually commentated into a violent Days of Rage across the region.
All this over a low budget mediocre film!
Impact in Tunis
In Tunis, on September 14, protesters entered the compound of the U.S. embassy after climbing the embassy walls and set trees inside the compound ablaze. The protesters attacked the American Cooperative School of Tunis and set it on fire. At least 4 were killed and 46 injured during protests near the embassy on September 15. The U.S. government pulled out all non-essential personnel and urged its citizens to leave the city.
As somebody that lived through this event I can tell you first hand that the “Jerusalem Announcement” has the potential to be even more explosive than the controversial film.
Americans Abroad be prepared!
Amid international unrest over President Donald Trump’s announcement, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security released a statement late Tuesday, saying that a “Day of Rage” was expected in retaliation to Trump’s decision and that U.S. government employees and their family members were banned from traveling to the Old City.
“With widespread calls for demonstrations beginning December 6 in Jerusalem and the West Bank, U.S. government employees and their family members are not permitted until further notice to conduct personal travel in Jerusalem’s Old City and in the West Bank, to include Bethlehem and Jericho,”
Traveler Security Insight
- The “Jerusalem Announcement” has the potential to trigger widespread protest & violence.
- U.S. citizens and organizations operating abroad should take additional security measures.
- U.S. travelers should register with the embassy and monitor the situation closely.
- Travelers visiting countries in the “Muslim world” should also register with their embassies, monitor the situation and have an exit plan in place. Link to Embassy of the world: http://www.embassyworld.com/
We’ll continue to monitor the situation and share relevant updates. For organizations operating in Tunis or anywhere throughout the MENA region don’t let another day go by without reviewing your Security Plan.