Israeli travel advisory takes Turkey off vacation destination list

PMO counter-terrorism bureau issues advisory for Israelis, Jews ahead og upcoming Rosh Hashana and Succot holidays.

El Al airplanes (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
El Al airplanes
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
The upcoming Rosh Hashana and Succot holidays are not only a time for apples, honey and temporary booths, but also when terrorists will try to kill Jews abroad, according to a travel advisory issued by the Counter-Terrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday.
The advisory, issued every year before the High Holy Days and Passover when Israelis travel abroad in droves, grouped Turkey together with Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Kenya as countries where there are continuous potential threats, and where nonessential travel should be avoided.
“The upcoming holidays, Rosh Hashana [September 5- 6] and Succot [September 19- 27] are likely to be a target for terrorist organizations to carry out attacks against Israel and Jewish targets abroad,” the advisory said.
In this way, the advisory read, the anniversary of the 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Center on September 11 is likely to be a preferred date by al-Qaida and other global jihad groups to carry out attacks.
Egypt and Jordan are listed as countries where there is a “basic” level of concrete threat, and which should be avoided. The warning against travel to Sinai, however, is even higher, the advisory being to “avoid all visits and to leave the region immediately.”
Other areas with that urgent classification include parts of southern Thailand and the southern Philippines, eastern Senegal, the Kashmir region in northern India, northern Nigeria, parts of Kenya and Chechnya.
Israelis and Jews are advised to leave Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan immediately; to leave Algeria, Djibouti, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali, Malaysia and Pakistan as soon as possible, and to not include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco and Oman in their holiday travel plans.
Travel to six countries – Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen – is illegal. Of the other 187 countries in the world where Israelis are able to travel, advisories are in effect for 27 of them, with advisories for certain regions within eight countries.
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.
The advisory said Hezbollah was still trying to avenge the 2008 killing of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, and Iran sought to avenge the killing of three nuclear scientists.