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Israel warns citizens of possible abductions during the holiday season

The travel advisory cites a heightened risk of Iranian terrorism in countries near and far.

El Al passenger jets at Ben-Gurion Airport in Lod, March 16, 2018. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90.
El Al passenger jets at Ben-Gurion Airport in Lod, March 16, 2018. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90.

Israel’s National Security Council on Thursday cautioned citizens to remain vigilant while traveling over the upcoming Jewish holiday period, citing the risk of attempts by Iranian-backed terrorists to carry out kidnappings in Israel and abroad.

The updated travel warning cites a higher risk of Iranian terrorism in both neighboring and faraway countries including Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as in countries in Africa and Latin America.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad may seek to kidnap Israelis to use as a bargaining chip in indirect negotiations with the Jewish state, adds the National Security Council.

The press release also cites increased Islamic terrorist threats in both Sweden and Denmark in the wake of recent Koran burnings there that outraged the Muslim world.

“We call on the Israeli public to continue to travel abroad, but to be vigilant, behave responsibly in accordance with the risk level of the country they are visiting, and to adhere to the recommendations,” the National Security Council said.

Earlier in August, NSC Intelligence Division head Yossi Adler told JNS that “the last two years have been exceptional, from a historical perspective, in terms of terror activity against Israelis and Jews abroad.

“My message is, think about what you are saying on the social networks, don’t give your geographic route, which hotel room you’re in, because the [terror] squads are looking for prey,” he warned.

The National Security Council provides 24/7 service on its website and a call center for issues related to travel warnings.

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