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Israel urges citizens to leave Turkey, Egypt and Jordan over likely terror threats

March 28, 2017 at 12:50 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 11 February 2017 [Facebook]

Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued on Monday issued a travel warning for Middle Eastern countries bordering Daesh conflict zones, urging its citizens to refrain from traveling to Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, Israel’s Ynetnews reported today.

The travel advice was released ahead of the Passover holiday, when thousands of Israelis cross the land border with Egypt to visit resorts and beaches on the Egypt’s Sinai Red Sea coast.

“Islamic State and those inspired by it are at the forefront of global jihadi groups that are highly motivated to carry out attacks during this period,” the bureau wrote, adding “all Israelis currently in the Sinai should return and … [we] also strongly advise that those wanting to travel to Sinai should not do so.”

Eitan Ben-David, the head of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau, told The Times of Israel that the Sinai, which has witnessed years of conflict between Daesh and the Egyptian army forces, already bears his agency’s highest level warning, known as “Level 1”.

“The more the Islamic State [Daesh] is backed into a corner, the more it would try to execute attacks across the world on every possible front: against Christians, crusaders and Jews,” he said.

“Attacks on the Egyptian military, on Coptic Christians… IS [Daesh] militants fired rockets at Eilat, and video footages from IS against Israelis show the high motivation and power of terror groups there to attack Israelis,” Ben-David pointed out, adding, “We don’t expect them to respect red-lines.”

The bureau head added that the “Level 1” alert related to a “very high concrete threat”, noting that Israelis are therefore advised to be vigilant when they are in crowded places, such as tourist spots, sports stadiums, cultural sites, shopping centers, hotels, airports, public transportation terminals, houses of prayer and other large events. “Israel is not at the center of the threats, but Israelis are required to be vigilant. There are no specific warnings, but we definitely call on Israelis to be careful, remain alert and avoid large crowds.”

In addition to Sinai, Jordan and Turkey, the Israeli bureau encouraged citizens who are planning to travel to Europe to remain aware, especially specifically in the United States, Russia, France, Belgium, Germany and India. Ben-David noted to the possible terrorist and abduction acts that might be carried out against Israelis in these countries.

The Israeli Counter-Terrorism Office frequently issues travel warnings to its citizens about threats of attacks in various countries of the world, especially ahead of holidays.