Israel warns citizens to leave Sinai due to ISIS threat

Israel is calling on its citizens to leave the Sinai Peninsula in wake of a pending terror attack.

Israel’s National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTB) on Tuesday released an exceptional and urgent warning about an imminent terror attack in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, urging Israeli citizens to leave the region “immediately.”

The “Level 1” alert issued by the NSCCTB is its most severe warning and is described as “very high and concrete.”

The counterterrorism agency urged those planning on visiting the area during the upcoming spring holidays change their plans.

Southern Sinai, with its pristine beaches and Red Sea coral reefs, has traditionally been a popular tourist destination for Israelis. But tourism there has declined since 2013, when the Egyptian military overthrew an elected Islamist president and an Islamic insurgency based in northern Sinai intensified.

The Sinai has since been the scene of massive battles between an Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate and Egyptian security forces, which have claimed hundreds of casualties.

The agency also issued a “Level 2” level warning about the dangers of traveling to Turkey, which has been hit by multiple terror attacks in recent months.

“There is a serious and current threat of terror attacks being carried out against tourists, notably Israelis, in the immediate future,” the travel advisory said.

Jordan and the rest of Egypt, not including the Sinai, carry the bureau’s third-highest level advisory.

Morocco was given the CTB’s fourth-highest warning.

Israeli travelers to the US, Russia, France, Belgium, Germany and India were encouraged to remain aware of their surroundings while abroad.

The travel warning is based on intelligence reports.

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.