Israel issues travel warnings for Sinai, Turkey ahead of High Holidays

Counter-Terrorism Bureau says threat particularly high in the Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic State affiliates and al-Qaeda are active

Illustrative photo of the Taba border crossing between the Israel and Egypt, April 17, 2010. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of the Taba border crossing between the Israel and Egypt, April 17, 2010. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

The Israel National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Thursday released a list of travel advisory warnings ahead of the start of the High Holidays, telling Israelis to avoid popular destinations Turkey and the Sinai Peninsula.

The holiday season, which begins Sunday evening on the Jewish new year and wraps up September 30 with the conclusion of Sukkot, is one of the busiest for Israeli travel.

“This is not about posting new travel warnings, but reflecting the current situation,” the bureau explained.

Just as in 2017, the bureau said “the threat in Sinai remains high” in light of the presence of an Islamic State affiliate and efforts by al-Qaeda to establish itself in the region.

In Turkey, it warned of “high threat potential for Israelis in light of the infrastructure and intention of terror groups to operate” in the country.

The bureau also said there was a high risk for Israeli travelers in the rest of Egypt and Jordan.

It noted that across the globe there are tens of thousands of jihadists, most of whom identify with IS and the al-Qaeda terror group, who could pose a danger to Israelis.

Citizens were advised to remain alert at large public gatherings or other events at locations that could be targeted by terrorists, including synagogues, churches, and mosques.

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