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Israel raises travel alert for Western Europe, other regions

Great Britain, France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Russia are among the countries where the travel warning was raised to level 2.

Israel's National Security Council raised its travel warning for countries around the world on Dec. 4, 2023. Credit: NSC.
Israel's National Security Council raised its travel warning for countries around the world on Dec. 4, 2023. Credit: NSC.

Israel’s National Security Council on Monday raised its travel alert levels for Western Europe, South America, Australia and Russia.

The update comes amid increased terror threats against Israelis traveling abroad nearly two months into Israel’s war with Hamas, dubbed “Operation Swords of Iron,” which was launched after the bloody massacre of Oct. 7. The last NSC security update was on Nov. 3.

“Since the beginning of the war, increased efforts have been detected on the part of Iran and its proxies, as well as on the part of Hamas and elements of global jihad, to attack Israeli and Jewish targets around the world,” according to the NSC statement.

The statement also highlighted “a continuous and significant increase in incitement, attempted attacks and widespread manifestations of anti-Semitism in many countries.”

Great Britain, France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Russia are among the countries where the travel warning was raised to level 2, recommending increased precautions. Several countries in Africa (including South Africa and Eritrea) and countries in Central Asia (including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan) have been elevated to level 3, recommending reconsidering non-essential travel.

The NSC generally recommends that Israelis reconsider the necessity of traveling at this time and if the public does go abroad to make informed decisions based on the recommended precautions.

Travelers are encouraged to postpone trips to countries with warnings, with an emphasis on Arab and Middle Eastern countries, the North Caucasus, countries surrounding Iran and a number of Muslim countries in Asia.

The NSC also recommends travelers check whether any anti-Israel protests are planned at their destinations, even in countries without travel warnings, and to stay away from these demonstrations.

Israelis should maintain vigilance while abroad and pay attention to their surroundings, the NSC emphasized. Citizens of Israel should also avoid the outward display of Jewish and Israeli symbols and large gatherings of Jewish and Israeli officials.

Finally, the NSC recommends that travelers make sure to learn the phone numbers of local emergency services and of the local Israeli diplomatic representation if there are any.

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