U.S. Banning its Diplomats From West Bank Travel

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States temporarily banned its diplomats from traveling to the West Bank and Jerusalem's Old City because of shooting attacks.

"Due to heightened tensions and increased security presence after the Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 attacks in the West Bank, the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem has prohibited all Consulate personnel from personal travel to the West Bank" through Monday, said a statement from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, which handles the West Bank.

Drive-by shooting attacks, apparently sparked by renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, killed four Israelis on Aug. 31 and wounded another two the next day.

Hamas, the group cut out of the peace talks because of its refusal to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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