Israel warns Passover travelers to be extra vigilant

Counter-Terrorism Bureau: Be aware of your surroundings and don’t stand out in a crowd.

April 13, 2016 02:38
1 minute read.
El Al

An El Al Boeing 777 aircraft is seen at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport. (photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS/IDF SPOKESMAN)

Israeli tourists traveling to Europe and North America should be extra vigilant around major sites like sports stadiums and shopping centers, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau said on Tuesday in its annual Passover advisory.

In light of the rise in terrorist attacks by global jihadist organizations, and threats by them to continue such attacks, particularly in the US and Western Europe, the bureau said the public’s attention should be drawn to the need to remain vigilant during stays abroad, with an emphasis on the coming holidays.

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“Even without concrete information on intentions to attack Israeli targets or civilians,” the bureau said, “Israeli tourists need to be aware of their surroundings in places like sport stadiums, cultural sites, shopping centers, hotels, airports, and transport hubs.

Groups of Israelis in particular should adopt guidelines that appear on the Counter-Terrorism Bureau’s website,” it said.

“Do not stand out in terms of dress, language, or identifiable signs in these areas,” the bureau warned It also reiterated the heightened terrorism threat that currently exists in Turkey, which is at the severe “level 2” (concrete information of pending attacks). “We advise against visiting this country and to leave it as soon as possible due to rising threats in central cities and tourist resorts in southern Turkey,” the Counter-Terrorism Bureau said.

It also cited a rising threat against Western and Israeli targets in Africa. Meanwhile, ISIS and al-Qaida elements remain active in Egypt, and across North Africa, it said.

A most severe threat remains in Sinai, and Israelis should not travel there, it said. Those who have gone to Sinai “should leave immediately,” the bureau added.

Additionally, a global terrorism campaign run by Iran and Hezbollah “continues to form an ongoing threats to Jewish and Israeli targets around the world, with an emphasis on Israeli tourist attractions and Jewish symbols (rabbis, heads of communities, Chabad centers),” the bureau cautioned.

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