The defense establishment has intercepted more the 50 immediate security threats involving high profiled public and security officials, over the past few years, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.
Senior security officials briefed the cabinet on the thwarted attempts during a special meeting discussing the security risks Israelis face when traveling the worlds, as well as the recent travel advisories issued by the Counter Terrorism Bureau.
The threats, the ministers were told, had put the men in clear and immediate danger of being abducted by Hizbullah. At least 10 of the foiled plot were supposed to mimic the abduction scenario of Elhanan Tenenbaum.
Tenenbaum, an Israeli businessman and a former IDF colonel, was kidnapped by Hizbullah in 2002, after being lured out of Israel under the false pretenses of a drug deal. He was released from captivity in January of 2004 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.
The Counter Terrorism Bureau has repeatedly noted that the number of threats made against Israelis – and especially senior IDF officers and security officials – has spiked since the assassination of Hizbullah terror mastermind Imad Mugniyah.
The defense establishment, the cabinet was told, has most recently extracted an IDF major-general (Res.) from a Mideast country, after obtaining concrete intelligence that his life was in danger.
"Hizbullah's motivation to abduct officers and other security personnel stationed outside Israel is skyrocketing," noted a source in the defense establishment.
Several other officers, said the brief, are still in danger and security forces are monitoring their situation closely in an effort to avert any abduction attempt.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged all Israelis to take the Counter Terrorism Bureau's traveling advisories to heart: "The government, through its various security agencies, is doing its best to map out all of the threats and warn the public, but the responsibility lies first and foremost on the travelers."