Ben Gurion Airport.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Iran and Hezbollah continue to pose a terrorist threat to Israeli and Jewish targets abroad, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office said on Monday ahead of Passover.
The advisory, issued twice a year, before the High Holy Days and Passover, when Israelis travel abroad in droves, placed 31 countries, out of 193 in the world, and eight regions inside other countries, on the warning list.
The countries where Israelis were told not to travel to at all, and to leave immediately, include the six where it is illegal for Israelis to go – Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon – plus another four: Afghanistan Somalia, Sudan and Libya.
Tunisia was included in the grouping of 11 countries where Israelis were called upon to stay away from, and to leave as soon as possible.
The advisory against traveling to Tunisia comes as a result of threats to Jewish and Israeli targets.
Egypt and Jordan were included in a grouping that including the Persian Gulf states where Israelis were advised to avoid. The advisory regarding Sinai was even higher, with those Israelis now there called upon to leave immediately.
Other areas sharing the same classification as Sinai include parts of southern Thailand and the southern Philippines, eastern Senegal, the Kashmir region in northern India, northern Nigeria, Chechnya and parts of Kenya.
Turkey, once a favorite travel destination for Israelis, was in a group with Kenya, Nigeria and Azerbaijan and classified as a country where non-essential travel should be avoided. A similar advisory is in place for Morocco.
The travel advisory in regard to Turkey is not new, and has been in effect since shortly after the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010.
In March 2012, this warning was upgraded because of information that terrorists were planning an attack on Israeli and Jewish targets in Turkey, and Israelis were advised to refrain from all travel there. That alert was downgraded a short time later to an advisory to refrain from nonessential travel.
According to the advisory, Hezbollah is still trying to avenge the 2008 killing of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, and Iran seeks to avenge the killing of three nuclear scientists.