Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry

Barak: Visit Negev instead of Sinai

Addressing recent warnings that Hizbullah plans to kidnap Israelis vacationing in Egyptian peninsula, defense minister recommends Ramon Crater as hiking destination

Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on hikers to visit the Negev following recent warnings that Hizbullah plans to kidnap Israelis in the Sinai Peninsula.


"I recommend the Ramon Crater," Barak said during a visit to the Zeelim base in southern Israel.


"The State of Israel is located in a not so simple area. We are surrounded with attempts to hurt us. Being Israelis is a great responsibility, but also a great source of pride.


"We must be alert, and it's difficult when a warning is issued to return from a trip and not to travel there. This means that there is a concrete threat and that one must simply return from Sinai," the defense minister added.


Following information on terror organizations' plans to kidnap Israelis in Sinai and Egypt and to smuggle them into the Gaza Strip, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau (ctb) issued a stark travel advisory Monday, calling on all Israelis to leave Sinai immediately and refrain from visiting Egypt.


According to the CTB, increased Hizbullah activity in the area prompted the stern instructions.


During his visit to Zeelim, Barak was briefed on the training in the base. He noted that IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi was leading the training efforts and that results have already been seen. "There is always much more work to do," he added.


Addressing the global economic crisis, Barak estimated that "the economic tsunami is nearing us and a difficult recession is expected here as well." He noted that the government and Treasury must discuss the issue with the workers in order to prepare for such a situation.


פרסום ראשון: 09.16.08, 11:24
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