Photo: AP

Israelis warned to leave Sinai at once

Statement issued by Counter-Terrorism Bureau warns all Israelis visiting Sinai to leave area immediately. 'Threat to kidnap Israelis on Sinai beaches has become extremely severe and concrete in recent days,' statement says

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Tuesday evening issued statement calling on all Israelis visiting Sinai to immediately leave the area.


According to the statement, "the threat to kidnap Israelis on the Sinai beaches has become extremely severe and concrete in recent days. All Israelis in Sinai are firmly recommended to leave the area immediately."


The statement added that "the security of Israeli tourists visiting/staying in Egypt, including Sinai, has been in real risk for a while now."


Regarding Turkey, which suffered a series of terror attacks in recent days, the statement said that "at this stage it is unclear whether this series of terror attacks will continue. The Counter Terrorism-Bureau recommends Israelis in Turkey to stay in the resorts and hotels where they are spending the night and to refrain at this stage from visiting crowded places (shopping centers, bazaars, recreation sites, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.)"


Another recommendation: Making sure to follow safety rules abroad and particularly downplaying one's Israeli identity, refusing gifts, and preventing unidentified strangers from entering the hotel room.


"If this series of attacks continues, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau will reassess the travel warning," a security official said.


Israelis are advised to refrain from staying close to Turkey's borders with Iran and Iraq and maintain a high state of alert.


Sinai – Preferable target for attacks

In recent years, terror groups turned the beaches of the Sinai Peninsula into preferable terrorist targets.


In April, three loud blasts shook the tourist town of Dahab and killed 23 people, 20 of them locals. The bombings took place at a restaurant, cafeteria, and a supermarket.


In July 2005, about 90 people were killed after three blasts hit Sharm el-Sheikh. One Israeli tourist sustained light wounds in the attack. The explosions occurred almost simultaneously at Sharm's old market and at a hotel district a few kilometers away from the city. Terrorists used three car bombs to stage the attack.


In October 2004, three blasts targeted hotels in Taba and Ras al-Satan, killing 34 people, including 13 Israelis. The first car bomb used in the attack exploded at the Hilton in Taba, a 430-room hotel that partly collapsed.


Immediately after the attack, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned to top Egyptian officials and asked that they allow Israeli rescue forces to enter Egypt. His request was approved and Israeli ambulances were allowed to enter Taba and evacuate the wounded.


פרסום ראשון: 08.29.06, 20:51
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