Pessah warning: Stay away from Sinai

Counter-terrorism Division publishes travel advisory, urges Israelis to take precautions abroad.

sinai 88 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
sinai 88 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A month before Pessah, the National Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Division published a comprehensive travel warning list on Monday, with the Sinai Peninsula included in destinations with a "very high and concrete threat." The division reiterated the warning about 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. The division also gave instructions to Israelis about special precautions to take abroad. It advised them to maintain a high level of alertness, to reject any tempting or unexpected offers and not to accept unexpected gifts from suspicious or unknown individuals. It also advised Israelis to refuse meetings that were not prearranged, particularly in remote spots, and to travel to appointments with trustworthy escorts. It also recommended that they avoid inviting suspicious or unexpected visitors to their hotel rooms or apartments. The Counter-Terrorism Division also advised Israelis staying abroad for an extended period of time to alter their routine - to change hotels from time to time, to use alternative travel routes and to try and avoid going often to the same places. According to the travel advisory, Israelis should immediately leave specific countries with a "very high and concrete terror threat" and should not visit them under any circumstances. These countries include 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. It also warned against visiting northern Nigeria, several spots in Thailand and the Malaysian border, and said there was a "basic concrete threat" on the Kenyan coast. Regarding Turkey, the Philippines, Thailand and Uzbekistan, the National Security Council said there were risks of "chance terror attacks" and advised Israelis there to take special precautions.