Israel - Travel warning remains high ahead of Passover

Two days after the terrorist attack in Toulouse, and just weeks after attacks and attempted attacks on Israeli targets in Georgia, India, Thailand and Azerbaijan, the National Security Council's counterterrorism bureau released a travel advisory Wednesday saying Hezbollah and Iran still want to kill or kidnap Israelis abroad.

While the counterterrorism bureau routinely releases travel advisories at this time of year -- before Pessah, Yom Ha'atzmaut and Lag B'Omer -- this time it prefaced the advisory by saying that Hezbollah and Iran are continuing their efforts to carry out attacks. Hezbollah is seeking vengeance for the killing of its commander Imad Mughniyeh four years ago, and Iran blames Israel for the killing of three nuclear scientists.

The warning said Hezbollah and Iran are particularly aiming at former government officials and businessmen.

The advisory called on Israelis to refrain from going to Jordan and Egypt because of concrete terrorist threats, and called on Israelis in Sinai to leave there immediately.  It also advised Israelis not to go to the Tunisian island of Djerba on Lag B'Omer in May to celebrate the yartzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, as tens of thousands did before last year's revolution there.

Turkey, once a favorite holiday spot for Israelis, was lumped together with Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali as countries where there is a "concrete high threat," with Israelis advised to refrain from going there.

The advisory also repeated permanent calls for Israelis traveling abroad to be alert, reject enticing or unexpected business offers from abroad, refuse unexpected gifts or entertainment invitations from unfamiliar or suspicious people, and turn down unexpected invitations from unfamiliar people for meetings in remote areas.


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