update deskIsrael at War

El Al helps Israelis leave Turkey after travel warning

Those returning home will only pay the airport tax.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Feb. 1, 2020. Source: Official website of the President of Turkey.

El Al will operate evacuation flights at a reduced cost for Israelis in Turkey after Jerusalem raised its travel warning there to the highest level.

Israelis still in Turkey will only need to pay airport taxes and will not be charged for flights on El Al subsidiary Sun D’Or, Transportation Minister Miri Regev said in a statement.

The flight schedule from Istanbul to Tel Aviv has yet to be published.

“In the wake of ‘Operation Swords of Iron,’ there has been a significant worsening of terrorist threats towards Jews and Israelis around the world,” the National Security Council published in its updated travel advisory on Tuesday.

“The travel warning to Türkiye has been raised to the highest level—level 4 (high threat)—for all areas of the country. All Israelis in Türkiye are called upon to leave forthwith,” the National Security Council stated.

“The NSC recommends that Israelis who have yet to leave Türkiye take all recommended cautionary measures (detailed on the NSC website) and avoid, as much possible, gatherings and public places, the overt display of Israeli and Jewish indicators, and places identified as Jewish or with an Israeli connection.”

Turkey’s Islamist leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, gives harbor to leaders from the Hamas terrorist group and has made a series of hostile statements directed at Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists of southern Israeli communities that killed more than 1,400 people.

On a call with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, Erdoğan called on Western countries to “effectively object to the human-rights violations in Gaza” and to “remember and fulfill the promises made to Palestine over the years.”

Last year saw the 10th anniversary of the official establishment of Hamas’s offices in Istanbul.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, in a 2021 report, said that Hamas’s headquarters in Istanbul has directed hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israelis and laundered millions of dollars.

“Turkey collaborates with terror organizations on both the ideological and operational levels. Terrorists working on Turkish soil establish infrastructures and plan terror attacks against Israel,” the report noted.

Hamas senior officials—most of them former security prisoners who served sentences for terrorism and were released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange—“are operating from Turkey against Israel. Some have even been granted Turkish citizenship,” the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs reported.

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