Israelis were warned on Tuesday to avoid travel to Jordan, Turkey and a number of other regional and world hotspots, as the country prepared for a mass exodus of Passover travelers.
The latest travel warnings, issued twice-yearly by the National Security Council in the Prime Minister’s Office, included high terror threat assessments for Israelis traveling to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Tunis. Announcements in recent years had also included warnings against visiting Jordan and Sinai.
A month ago, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a Palestinian judge at a border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, setting off a diplomatic spat between the countries.
Jordanian lawmakers have also threatened to cut ties with Israel over Israeli MKs’ proposals to enforce Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount, which Jordanian claims custodianship over.
In addition to the six countries Israelis are forbidden by law from visiting (Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen), the National Security Council cautioned Israelis against travel to Arab states as well as Afghanistan, Mali, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Ivory Coast, Togo, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Nigeria, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The National Security Council said the travel advisories were based on “solid and reliable information which reflects a credible threat based on an intel picture for a given period.” It emphasized that the warnings were based on specific threats, rather on an assessment of the current situation.
Further, the advisory noted that Hezbollah blames Israel for the death of leader Imad Mughniyeh and recent alleged Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon and has vowed retaliation.
Hezbollah has been blamed for terror attacks against Israelis abroad in the past, including two bombings in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 and an attack on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, in 2012.
The NSC recommended Israelis abroad maintain awareness while traveling, avoid high-risk countries, and “avoid letting suspicious or unexpected visitors into [their] hotel room or residence.”