Vaccinated Israelis heading abroad for Passover vacations are warned that Iran, Islamic State are targeting Israelis.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The Counter-Terrorism unit of Israel’s National Security Council issued a travel alert Monday warning that Iran and Islamic terror groups are targeting Israelis traveling abroad.
With tens of thousands of Israelis expected to travel outside of Israel this week during the Passover holiday, the NSC warned that popular destinations in Arab countries that have peace treaties with Israel could be dangerous. Security authorities in the United Arab Emirates intercepted an Iranian-backed terror squad in January that was planning to attack Israelis there.
The travel is possible because of the high coronavirus vaccination rates in Israel. Those with proper vaccinations can get an official certificate verifying their status and giving them access to many countries where vaccination against the pandemic is required, but some of those destinations may also contain a terrorism threat.
“In recent months, Iranian elements have threatened to harm Israeli targets. In this context, an explosive device exploded (Jan. 29) near the Israeli embassy in India and officials in India determined that Iran was behind the placement of the bomb,” the NSC announcement said.
“We estimate that Iran will continue to work in the near future to promote harm to Israeli targets,” warning that countries popular with Israelis could have “a high probability of such activity” including Georgia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.
“At the same time, global jihadist organizations, with an emphasis on the Islamic State (ISIS) and their supporters, continue to be motivated and carry out attacks in various countries around the world, including countries visited by Israelis,” the statement warned.
The Counter-Terrorism unit pointed out that the Sinai Peninsula in neighboring Egypt is a known hotspot where Islamic State terrorists remain active and where Israelis have been targeted before in several fatal terror attacks.
The statement warned that last year the leadership of the Islamic State called on the organization’s terrorists in the Sinai to attack Israelis there.
“There continues to be a serious terrorist threat to Israeli citizens in the Sinai Peninsula” and the NSC advised Israelis to “avoid visiting” the area.
However, despite the previous attacks and warnings, the Sinai remains a favorite travel destination for Israelis and several thousand or more are expected to cross the border this week.