BYU Jerusalem Center restricts travel after Trump announcement

BYU Jerusalem Center released a statement regarding travel restrictions for students Dec. 11. (Mark A. Philbrick/BYU Photo)

The BYU Jerusalem Center outlined travel restrictions for students and residents in a Dec. 11 statement after anticipating possible violence following President Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The restrictions came into effect Dec. 10 at noon (Jerusalem time) and named restricted areas within Jerusalem as well as specific practices of entering and exiting the center.

“East Jerusalem and Old City are still off limits, except for the Christian and Armenian Quarters. Travel to these parts of the Old City must be through Jaffa Gate. Travel to and from the Center to the permitted quarters of the Old City or to West Jerusalem must be by taxi, with entry and exit from the Center through the 8th floor entrance only,” reads the Dec. 11 statement from the Center.

The Jerusalem Center announced on Dec. 6 it would restrict travel for students starting Dec. 7, but was unclear about the extent of the restrictions until the Dec. 11 announcement.

The Dec. 6 statement from the Center reads:

“While it’s unclear at this point what will be the immediate and longer run effects of President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (and Jerusalem was quiet after the announcement, which came in the evening, Jerusalem time), it is expected that there will be some unrest and possibly violence in the next few days. As such, travel by students and other personnel living at BYU’s Jerusalem Center to East Jerusalem and the Old City has been restricted starting December 7. How long the restrictions will be in place, and whether they will be extended to other parts of Jerusalem, are decisions that will be made as the extent of the reaction to President Trump’s announcement is observed over the next several days.

The Jerusalem Center imposes travel restrictions on a fairly regular basis in response to changes in security environments in and around Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Holy Land.”

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