Amid Terror Threats, Israel Urges Passover Travelers to Avoid Turkey, Crowded Places in Europe
JNS.org – Ahead of the Passover holiday, with more than 1 million Israelis preparing to jet off for vacations abroad, the Counterterrorism Bureau in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office updated its semiannual travel warnings to include 34 countries and 10 regions.
Given the Islamic State terror group’s threats to execute more attacks in Europe, paired with the lack of a specific alert, the bureau is asking Israelis traveling to that continent to avoid crowded places such as soccer stadiums, cultural sites, shopping centers, and airports. The warning reiterates that Israelis should avoid Turkey and urges anyone who is planning a trip there to cancel their reservations. In March, a suicide bombing in Istanbul killed three Israeli tourists.
An urgent warning against Israelis traveling to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula remains in place. The country’s security establishment is concerned that Islamic State could execute terrorist attacks against tourists there, and against Israelis in particular. Travel warnings are also in place for vacations to Aqaba on the Red Sea, Jordan, and elsewhere in Egypt, all places Israelis are advised to avoid unless urgent business requires their presence there.
The Counterterrorism Bureau stresses that “situation assessments are published as a public service at the start of the 2016 spring-summer tourist season. It’s important to note that these aren’t new travel warnings, with the exception of the warning about Turkey, which has recently been upgraded….The travel warnings are based on solid, reliable information that reflects a real threat based on the broader intelligence picture for the given time period.”