Details about where the students, faculty and family members would be staying in Greece were not disclosed, however, the university does routinely offer Health Care programs in the area.
A Thursday morning update said there had been no reported violence in Jerusalem but said tensions are always higher on Fridays as Muslims gather on the Temple Mount, or Haram esh Sharif, for noon prayers. Center officials said rocket sirens sounded on Thursday morning in Israeli towns surrounding Gaza, central Israel and Beit Shemesh, just west of Jerusalem.
The decision to relocate comes less than a week after the Center asked students to remain on campus. Through most of the week, academics resumed as scheduled with students even working on “humanitarian projects.”
The BYU Jerusalem Center serves as the campus for students abroad in Israel. Students spend a semester studying ancient and modern Near Eastern studies as well as the Hebrew and Arabic languages. Several field trips are integrated into the program including trips across the Holy Land and travel into Jordan and either Egypt, Turkey or Greece.
The program is currently in the middle of its Fall semester, which was attended by 94 students. One student reportedly fractured her foot while in Israel and returned home early for surgery, before the conflict began.
Officials at the Center have been routinely providing updates both about the students and personnel on its campus and the ongoing situation in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem has largely been unaffected by the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. The BYU Jerusalem Center reported some “disturbances” in Palestinian neighborhoods, however, the Israeli capital has been relatively free of violence. On Monday, rockets with a trajectory toward greater Jerusalem were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense systems, preventing catastrophic damage to the capital city.
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that 25 Americans had so far been confirmed as killed amid the conflict, one of whom was a man with ties to Utah. So far, the conflict has taken the lives of more than 1,200 Israelis and 1,350 Palestinians with even more suffering injuries.