Ahead of the Passover holiday which will start the evening of April 5, Israel's National Security Council has issued guidelines detailing the dangers and threats from various terrorist elements that could be faced by Israelis traveling abroad.
Iran is still the main generator of global terrorism, the report stated, adding that the NSC estimates that Iran will continue "to work to promote damage to Israeli and Jewish targets around the world."
Countries in the region surrounding Iran are at a higher risk of experiencing potential Iranian attacks, including the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Bahrain. Other countries that could also be at risk include Greece and Cyprus as well as Iraqi Kurdistan, although Israeli law prohibits Israelis from traveling there.
"We call on the Israeli public to continue going abroad but to be vigilant, to behave responsibly according to the level of risk in the country they are visiting and to adhere to the recommendations."National Security Council
Also of concern are the various global jihad and Islamic movements, including ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab, among others. To this end, the NSC advises Israelis to remain cautious in traveling to the Horn of Africa, some parts of Central Africa, the central Philippines, Bangladesh, the Kashmir region of India and parts of Indonesia.
Of particular note, there has been an emphasis on northern Sinai recently, with ISIS cells indicating an increased interest in harming Israelis and Jews.
The NSC advised that Israelis traveling to or staying in the Sinai Desert stay only in established tourist sites such as Sharm El-Sheikh, and to avoid traveling too deep into the surrounding desert or staying in isolated and unfamiliar sites.
"We call on the Israeli public to continue going abroad but to be vigilant, to behave responsibly according to the level of risk in the country they are visiting and to adhere to the recommendations," the NSC cautioned.
"We once again urge the public planning a trip abroad to check the status of the travel warnings for specific destinations before purchasing a travel ticket."
The NSC travel warning range from level one to level four, with one being "No warning, normal precautions are recommended," and four being "High threat level, do not come to this country, and in case you are staying, leave as soon as possible."
In cases of a level two threat, visitors are advised to take increased precautions, and a level three threat means that non-essential travel should be avoided.
According to the latest NSC recommendations, countries including Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Mali are all level four threats, and Sudan, Egypt and Turkey are all level three threats.
Antisemitic threats in Europe and the US
Although neither the US or Europe has been issued a travel warning by the NSC, they note an increase in antisemitic and racist attacks carried out by white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in recent years. This, the report states, means that "Jewish communities (and other minorities) are a major target" over Passover, the NSC report states, adding that "religious and community institutions [are] a preferred target and holidays and special occasions [are] particularly sensitive."
In addition, the report notes, the month of Ramadan, during which Passover also falls, is a particularly sensitive time for regional security, and tensions in Israel could overflow and impact Jewish communities and Israelis abroad.