The State Department (search) advised U.S. citizens Monday night to defer travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

A travel warning noted that ongoing violence has caused numerous civilian deaths and injuries. American tourists, students, residents and U.S. government contract workers have been among the casualties.

In light of the lethal terrorist attack on contract workers in Gaza (search) last Wednesday, a State Department statement reiterated its statement following the incident that U.S. citizens leave Gaza. "The potential for further terrorist acts remains high," it said.

The situation in Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank remains extremely volatile, with continuing terrorist attacks, confrontations and clashes, the statement added.