Ahead of the mass exodus of Israelis looking to exploit their remaining days of annual leave during the upcoming High Holidays, the Israeli National Security Council’s Counterterrorism Bureau has issued a number of travel warnings for Israelis seeking to travel abroad.
The travel warnings are based on the real likelihood of threats against Israeli and Jewish targets across the world, based on intelligence and credible information. Most of the travel warnings relate to Arab and “enemy” countries.
Most notable, however, is the bureau’s warnings in relation to visiting western and northern Europe.
In the latest warnings, western and northern Europe join a list featuring Turkey, Jordan and Egypt affected by the threat of the Islamic State’s “war of survival.”
The bureau warns Israeli tourists to be vigilant and aware in these countries, particularly in areas of high footfall during the festivals including sports venues, museums, shopping areas, hotels and places of worship.
“At this time, terror organizations, especially the Islamic State, are highly motivated to carry out terrorist attacks all over the world,” warned the bureau.
Methods of attack used by the Islamic State in the last 12 months, and emphasized in the warning to Israeli travelers, include stabbing, car ramming, shooting and the detonation of explosive devices.
A severe travel warning is in place for Israeli tourists planning to travel to the Sinai Peninsula and mainland Egypt. The Sinai’s beach resorts have long been a popular travel destination for Israeli sightseers.
The last major terrorist attack against a popular tourist site in Sinai was in April, during the Jewish festival of Passover, when Islamic State-affiliated gunmen attacked the Saint Catherine’s Monastery.
The current travel warning for Sinai is Level 1, the highest warning level issued by the bureau, and it is recommended that Israelis avoid all travel to the area due to the “very high concrete threat.” Israelis currently in the Sinai are recommended “to leave immediately.”
The warning level for the Egyptian mainland is Level 3 and Israelis are recommended not to visit.
Travel warnings remain in place for Turkey, Jordan, south Philippines and “enemy” countries. Israeli law prohibits its citizens from traveling to Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.