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Travel Alerts

On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Embassy will be officially opened in Jerusalem following the December 2017 announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The transition of the consulate to the embassy will coincide with a number of other important dates and events:

- The date selected will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the U.S. government’s recognition of Israel as an independent   state.
- The anniversary date is conversely recognized by Palestinians as the Nakba, or the dispersal from Galilee.
- The 45-day Gazan “March of Return” protests—which have thus far been marred with violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protestors—are scheduled to end May 15.
- May 15 also marks the start of Ramadan in the year 2018.
- It also coincides with recent engagement between Israeli Defense Forces and Iranian military resources in Syria along the border with the Golan Heights.
- The combined events will likely spur various celebrations and protests. Patterns indicate that likely areas for unrest include U.S. and Israeli diplomatic missions, areas of disputed religious significance and border areas with Gaza and the   West Bank/Judea and Samaria.

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Update: May 13, 2018 - Ohio State established contact with the faculty program leader of our undergraduate academic program in Jakarta. All students on the program were engaged in group social excursion activities in the Jakarta area. In addition, we were in communicationwith the Fisher College of Business cohort in West Kalimantan who confirmed that all travelers were on site and safe. Verification from program leaders and students indicate that no students were impacted directly or indirectly by the events in Surabaya.

In the wake of multiple incidents in Surabaya, information from the U.S. Department of State and our security providers have focused on the impact of the event to travel specific to Surabaya and the East Java (Jawa Timur) province. Thus far they have not indicated any specific threat to travelers in other locations in Indonesia or provided additional guidance to those travelers. The U.S. Department of State and other international security agencies consider Indonesian counter-terrorism forces to be highly capable and cooperative in aggressively pursuing and countering terrorist threats. This will be treated as a significant security incident by local authorities who will identify the assailants, trace their contacts and focus intensive counter efforts against any perceived networks.

Ohio State will continue to monitor the events in Indonesia through the advice of the Department of State, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, the Indonesian National Agency for Combating Terrorism (BNPT) and the university's security providers.

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