The Counter Terrorism Bureau
(CTB) has on Thursday emphasized its recommendation to refrain from visiting Tunisia
and has declared that the threat level in the country is now at level three out of four – which means a high level, concrete threat.
The travel advisory alert was published in light of intentions to carry out terror attacks in the country against Israeli
and Jewish targets during the period of the Lag b'Omer festival, which will be taking place next Wednesday and Thursday in the city of Djerba.
Haim Damari, Director General of Tunis Tours, said that usually the annual festival held at the ancient Djerba synagogue, which according to tradition was built by the Jews exiled after the destruction of the first temple in 586 BC, attracts some 40,000 Jews a year.
"Around 1,000 of them are Israelis and the rest are locals, Jews of Libyan descent from Italy, and the Tunisian Jewish community in France," he said.
According to Damari, last year the festival did not take place "due to the unpleasant atmosphere towards Jews in the country." Damari, who plans many such tours to the country and intends to continue his tradition, says that Israelis will not be making it to this year's festival either.
"Jews from other locations won't come either, like last year;most likely the only people there on Lag Ba'Omer will be the locals," he said.
More than 10 years ago, 21 people were murdered
in the synagogue on Djerba Island after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a gas filled tanker.
The CTB has stressed that the travel warning is only a recommendation and that any decision to travel to any location abroad is at the discretion of the traveler and is his responsibility.
On Tuesday, the CTB revised its travel advisory on Turkey, stating that the threat level has significantly decreased.
The CTB issued an "imminent threat" advisory on Turkey in March, but the threat level is currently defined as "potentially ongoing" – the lowest of the CTB's four levels.
Aviel Magnezi contributed to the report