Israelis warned to avoid Sinai on Pessah

Intelligence assessments find a number of terror groups planning terror attacks, kidnappings.

sinai huts beach 224 88  (photo credit: Elana Kirsh)
sinai huts beach 224 88
(photo credit: Elana Kirsh)
According to National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau intelligence assessments released on Tuesday, a number of terror organizations were planning terror attacks targeting Israelis on the Sinai Peninsula over the Pessah holiday. There was also concern that terrorists may attempt to kidnap Israeli citizens. As a result of the intelligence, National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau strongly advised Israelis not to travel to the area in the coming week. Some 30,000 Israelis were reportedly planning to cross the Egyptian border to holiday at the beach resorts along the Red Sea. A similar warning is published every year, but thousands of Israelis ignore it. A month before Pessah, the National Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Division published a comprehensive travel warning list, and the Sinai Peninsula was included in destinations with a "very high and concrete threat." The division reiterated warnings of plans to kidnap or harm Israelis abroad as revenge for the assassination of Hizbullah arch-terrorist Imad Mugniyeh, with a special emphasis on businessmen, especially those dealing with Arab or Muslim countries. Israelis were advised to immediately leave specific countries with "very high and concrete terror threats" and not to visit them under any circumstances. These countries included Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and Afghanistan. Concerning Algeria, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan, Israelis were warned to leave as soon as possible or stay away. In addition, the division urged Israelis not to visit Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Qatar, Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, and that it was preferable to postpone non-vital trips to Libya, Oman, Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Tajikistan and Mauritania. Israelis in Colombia were advised to hide their identity and to travel by air or main roads in daylight hours. The division also advised Israelis to leave or avoid the following regions: Kashmir, Mindanao (in the southern Philippines), Chechnya and Sinai.