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Tehran remains top threat for Israelis traveling abroad

“Iran continues its activities to promote harm to Israeli citizens around the world,” says Israel’s National Security Council.

Members of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps special forces unit. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Members of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps special forces unit. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Israeli government has published its regular travel warning ahead of the spring holidays, with Iran remaining a top threat to Israeli tourists.

“Iran is still the main generator of global terrorism and continues its activities to promote harm to Israeli citizens around the world directly and through affiliates and proxy elements it operates, in various countries of the world, while violating their sovereignty,” states the report from the National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Division (NSCCTD).

According to the NSCCTD assessment, Iran will continue to attempt to harm Israelis and Israeli interests around the world. The report cites recent examples over the past couple of years of Iranian operations against Israeli and Jewish targets that were prevented, including in Georgia, Turkey and Cyprus.

Countries close to Iran and in the Mediterranean basin such as Greece and Cyprus are listed as having a higher risk factor for an Iranian-aligned attack. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are listed—the two Gulf Arab countries signed the Abraham Accords to normalize relations with Israel but have also recently shown an interest in becoming closer to the regime in Tehran along with other Gulf states.

In addition to Iran, the NSCCTD said that global jihadist organizations such as Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Al Shabaab continue to pose a threat, with Islamic State recently showing increasing interest in harming Israelis and Jews.

Egypt is a popular destination for Israelis and the report warns visitors from the Jewish state to stick to tourist spots such as the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh and avoid deep trips into the Sinai Peninsula where terrorist groups are known to operate.

The report also warns about an increase in antisemitic violence against Jewish communities, notably in Europe and North America. The NSCCTD cites examples from recent years of attacks on Jewish institutions during religious holidays such as the deadly 2019 shootings at a synagogue in Germany during Yom Kippur and earlier that year during Passover at a synagogue near San Diego, California.

A warning is also given about the Muslim fasting holiday of Ramadan partially coinciding with Passover, saying that tensions in Israel around the holiday could threaten Israelis traveling in other countries.

The travel warning is published every year at the beginning of the spring and summer tourist seasons.

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