November 18, 2012
Sirens were sounded in Jerusalem today after a rocket fell in the Etzion Bloc area, which is approximately 25 kilometers south of Jerusalem. However, no rockets fell in Jerusalem itself or in the surrounding areas.
IFSA-Butler students went to designated shelters when the sirens sounded. Our student services coordinator in Israel, Mariette Thomas, has verified that the students are safe.
IFSA-Butler will continue to monitor this situation, as well as the cease-fire attempts and diplomatic interventions. We will update our audiences as appropriate.
November 17, 2012
Despite continuing tensions in Israel, IFSA-Butler students in Jerusalem are safe and attending classes as normal. Our students are aware of all the designated shelters in their housing and around the Hebrew University campus, and our student services coordinator in Jerusalem is in regular contact with our participants to answer questions and to reinforce safety precautions. Officials at Hebrew University are also sending regular emails and texts to all students as well.
IFSA-Butler has sent students in Israel the following safety reminders:
- Be aware of your surroundings, and take note of all nearby shelters wherever you are.
- In the event that you need to use a shelter, stay in the protected space for at least 10 minutes.
- Carry your cell phone and IFSA-Butler emergency contact card at all times.
- Keep updated with the news regularly.
IFSA-Butler will continue to update students, parents and advisors on this situtation as necessary.
November 16, 2012
IFSA-Butler continues to monitor the escalating tensions between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the State of Israel. We are receiving daily reports from IFSA-Butler staff on the ground there. While the security alert is high in all of Israel, clashes between Hamas and Israel have mostly been limited to southern Israel and Gaza. IFSA-Butler students in Jerusalem, Israel have been notified with instructions and safety precautions.
On November 15, a rocket landed in Jerusalem north of the Knesset which is on the other side of Jerusalem from Mt. Scopus and the Hebrew University campus. There was no damage. Hebrew University initiated its safety measures yesterday as a precaution.
Our partner university in Jerusalem, Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School, is well prepared for crises and has solid plans in place for the safety of its students, faculty and staff community.
Students on the IFSA-Butler program in Jerusalem were already prohibited from traveling to Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Students have now, in addition to those prohibitions, been advised to avoid travel to southern Israel.
IFSA-Butler and our staff in the Middle East are implementing our crisis response instructions for students to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken.
We recommend the following sites for current news and summaries of events:
Al Jazeera (English)
Israel National News
Haaretz (Israel news)
Egypt Daily News
November 15, 2012
IFSA-Butler is monitoring the current events in the Middle East and receiving daily reports from our staff on the ground there. While the security alert is high in all of Israel, the violence is currently isolated in the area of the country near Gaza. There is no indication that the IFSA-Butler students in Jerusalem, Egypt or Sharjah are in any danger.
As a precaution, students have been advised to stay close to their campuses and avoid any travel within the Gaza Strip perimeters. Activity is expected to continue during the next few days in the Gaza area.
IFSA-Butler and our staff in the Middle East are making sure that all our students are alert, and all necessary precautions are taken to make sure they are safe.