Gaza war: Which countries have asked their citizens to avoid Lebanon?

Gaza war: Which countries have asked their citizens to avoid Lebanon?
As hostilities grow between Israel and Hezbollah, countries such as the US and Australia have warned their nationals to leave Lebanon.
3 min read
Certain countries have issued travel warnings to Lebanon as clashes continue on the border with Israel [Getty]

Several countries have issued warnings about travelling to Lebanon amid ongoing fighting on the Israeli-Lebanese border and Israel's ferocious assault on the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants have been exchanging rocket fire since Sunday, with cross-border fighting have killed at least 21 people in Lebanon, according to an AFP tally - at least three of them civilians, including Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah.

After Israel announced Monday that it was evacuating residents living along its northern border with Lebanon, some countries have warned their citizens to leave Lebanon, or to avoid travelling there.

Tensions has spiked across the country, with demonstrators have taken to the streets of Beirut and its suburbs, including near the American and French embassies, to protest against the reported Israeli strike on Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital which killed almost 500 people.

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday asked its nationals to leave Lebanon immediately.

"We call on all citizens to adhere to the travel ban and to leave Lebanese territory immediately for those who are currently in Lebanon," the Saudi embassy in Beirut said.

On Thursday, the US Embassy in Beirut urged US nationals to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible"

The embassy recommended that "US citizens who choose not to depart prepare contingency plans for emergency situations."

Thursday's statement followed the US State Department's revision earlier this week of its travel advisory to Lebanon from level three to four - the highest level possible.

It authourised non-essential embassy personnel and their families to leave the country citing the unpredictable security situation due to the ongoing attacks by Israel in Gaza.

The UK has also updated its travel advice on Thursday and advised citizens to leave while commercial flights are still available to book.

"Commercial routes out of Lebanon could be severely disrupted or cancelled at short notice and roads across the country could be closed," the statement read.

"If you are currently in Lebanon, we encourage you to leave now while commercial options remain available."

France, Germany, Canada and Australia have also warned against travel to Lebanon, while Spain has advised against non-essential travel.

Certain international airlines have additionally suspended flights or cancelled their connections to Beirut.

On 13 October, German flag-carrier airline Lufthansa announced that connecting flights through Beirut would be suspended "until October 22 inclusive."

On Monday, Swiss International Air Lines alerted of the suspension of its flights to Beirut until 28 October.

Middle East Airlines, Lebanon's national airline, announced on Monday that it "temporarily parked five of its 24 planes at Istanbul airport as a precaution."