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Federal government tells Canadians to avoid all travel to Israel, West Bank as tensions rise

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The government of Canada has upgraded its travel advisories to Israel and the West Bank, instructing Canadians to avoid all travel amid escalating tensions in the region.

Previously, the federal government had advised Canadians to "avoid non-essential travel" to Israel and certain areas of the West Bank.

"With a heightened risk of attacks on Israeli territory, the regional security situation remains highly volatile & could escalate without notice," Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said in a post Friday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

She added that Canadians should consider leaving by commercial means.

Countries including India, France, Poland and Russia have warned their citizens against travel to the region, already on edge over the war in Gaza, now in its seventh month. Germany on Friday called on its citizens to leave Iran.

Israel braced for an attack by Iran or its proxies on Friday as warnings grew of retaliation for an attack on Iran's embassy compound last week in Damascus, Syria, that killed a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' overseas Quds Force and six other officers.

In a press briefing on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden warned that an attack on Israel could come "sooner, rather than later."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country was preparing for scenarios in other areas besides Gaza.

Israel has stepped up military raids in the West Bank since launching its assault on Gaza, following the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack in which 1,200 people were killed and 253 taken hostage.

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and set houses and cars on fire in al-Mughayyir on Friday, killing a Palestinian man and wounding 25 others, Palestinian health officials say.

More than 460 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the war began, and at least 33,545 have been killed in Gaza, according to its health ministry, with most of the enclave's 2.3 million people displaced.

With files from Reuters and The Associated Press

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