IDF soldiers near Gaza border 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
The defense establishment held a number of security consultations on Monday to assess the threat level against Israel and possible security implications the death of Osama Bin Laden could have on Israeli missions overseas.
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A senior security official said Monday that for the time being Israel was not altering any of its existing travel advisories. The defense establishment has been on high alert for several months already due to concerns that Hezbollah is planning an imminent attack against an Israeli target overseas to avenge the 2008 assassination of its military commander Imad Mughniyeh.
Following Bin Laden’s death, the US State Department issued an urgent “Worldwide Caution”
in which it urged US citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance when traveling overseas. The caution warns specifically of al Qaida plans to attack US and European interests in Europe as well as US interests in North Africa and the Middle East.
“Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations
continue to plan terrorist attacks against US interests in multiple
regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East,” the State
Department caution read. “These attacks may employ a wide variety of
tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings,
hijackings, and bombings. “
The current assessment in Israel is that it is possible that terrorist
organizations, possibly Global Jihad-like groups based in the Gaza Strip
which are known to be ideologically affiliated with al Qaida – could
use the death of Bin Laden as an excuse to increase terrorist activity
against Israel.Other al Qaida-affiliated groups
are believed to also operate in the Sinai Peninsula as well as in
southern Lebanon. In the past, some of these groups have been
responsible for firing Katyusha rockets into Israel.
Two weeks ago, Israeli security officials said that security was stepped
up at potential Jewish and Israeli targets overseas and named Hezbollah
operative Talal Hamia as the commander of a small but well-organized
terror cell that had been tasked by the Iranian-backed guerilla group
with carrying out the attack.
Hamia is alleged to have been involved in the 1992 and 1994 bombings in
Buenos Aires that targeted the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA Jewish