Israel warns citizens against travel to Turkey, Jordan, Egypt
AFP photoThe Israeli authorities on Sept. 11 issued severe travel warnings urging Israeli travelers to avoid places where they would be prime targets for jihadist militants, including Turkey and much of the Middle East, The Times of Israel has reported.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are expected to travel overseas during the series of Jewish holidays that starts with the Jewish New Year on Sept. 20 and ends with the Sukkot festival from Oct. 4 to 12, when most travelers head abroad.
The Counter-Terrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office, which issues warnings ahead of most holiday seasons, noted that the list includes some of the most popular tourist destinations for Israelis, including the Sinai Peninsula and Turkey.
Warnings were also in effect for Jordan and the rest of Egypt.
In all those places, terror groups are known to be planning attacks in crowded areas, and may be looking to target areas where large groups of vacationing Israelis are likely to be found, it stated.
The most severe warning is for the Sinai, where beachfront tourist venues have long drawn many tens of thousands of Israelis during prime vacation periods.
Israelis should avoid travel to Sinai in the foreseeable future, and leave the peninsula immediately if they are already there, the warning stated.
Turkey also received special mention, with the warning noting that Istanbul and other Turkish cities have been the target of a wave of both Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacks in recent years, adding that Israeli institutions have been especially targeted on occasion.
The bureau urged Israeli citizens to remain vigilant wherever they travel, noting that militants have struck recently in Western European capitals and in North America.
Vigilance is especially important in areas frequented by large crowds such as sports stadiums, popular tourist sites and public transportation hubs, the warning said.