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Ahead of High Holidays, Israelis are warned that Iran, IS seek to attack them abroad

National Security Council urges citizens to check advisories before travel; Mossad foiled several potential attacks against Israelis in Turkey earlier this year

Travelers at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, on September 7, 2022. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)
Travelers at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, on September 7, 2022. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Israel issued a travel alert on Monday ahead of the Jewish High Holidays, warning that Iran and Islamist terror groups are seeking to carry out terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets.

The National Security Council urged citizens traveling over the holidays to check the individual advisories for countries before they purchase their tickets. The High Holidays is one of the preferred periods for Israelis to schedule trips abroad.

“We estimate that in the near future Iran will continue to promote harm to Israeli targets around the world, both in countries close to Iran and countries in the West and Europe,” the update read.

The National Security Council added that terror groups, such as the Islamic State and its supporters, “continue to show motivation” to carry out attacks against Jews and Israelis across the globe.

“This is backed up by frank statements on the part of the heads of organizations that call for harm to Israelis and Jews,” it said.

Security officials warned of attacks in Europe by existing Iranian assets on the continent.

A senior security official said that several Iranian attempts to attack dissidents had been uncovered recently in Europe, indicating the regime has infrastructure and personnel in place that could be directed against Israelis.

The security official said there were no specific alerts regarding attack attempts, but said, “We need to keep our eyes open,” according to the Kan public broadcaster.

“There were activities in Western Europe and Scandinavia against opposition figures, and also reports of activities against American officials on European soil,” a security source told Ynet.

“Wherever they have the ability to act and they have infrastructure and opportunity, they will not hesitate to act,” the source said.

In May, the National Security Council issued a stern warning to Israelis in Turkey to leave the country and for potential travelers to stay away, after receiving intelligence that there was an immediate threat of an Iranian plot to kidnap and murder citizens.

Two Turkish riot police officers walk in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, on June 14, 2022. (Yasin Akgul/AFP)

According to senior Israeli officials, the planned attacks were aimed at avenging a series of killings and strikes on Iranian military and nuclear targets that have been attributed to the Jewish state.

The Mossad and its Turkish counterparts were said to have thwarted several planned attacks, including an alleged operation by an Iranian cell to kidnap and murder a former Israeli ambassador to Turkey and his wife.

And in June, security forces in Thailand were reportedly successful in preventing an Iranian agent from establishing a terror cell in the country and potentially carrying out attacks against Israelis.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a years-long shadow war, but tensions have ratcheted up following a string of high-profile incidents Tehran has blamed on Israel.

Tehran claimed Jerusalem was responsible for the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei in his Tehran home on May 22. Khodaei’s assassination was the most high-profile killing inside Iran since the November 2020 killing of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

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