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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Travel Advisory: Have a Safe Holiday by Staying in Israel

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Israel’s National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Monday warned people traveling for the High Holidays of concern over attacks “against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, especially in Western Europe, by global jihad elements, including ISIS.”

The warning comes less than a week that the U.S. State Dept. still was living in the past with its updated warning that visitors to Israel should buy gas masks. Perhaps U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is afraid that strong winds from the west will blow in to Israel the smell from Foggy Bottom.

Washington routinely inflates every Arab riot in eastern Jerusalem into a full-fledged intifada, but media hype notwithstanding, virtually every tourist spot place in Israel is safer than the streets of Washington.

The Israel agency noted, “There is at this time an increasing potential threat as a result of the recent Operation Protective Edge during which there were many demonstrations at Israeli embassies and consulates around the world. There has also been an increase in anti-Semitic incidents. These trends are likely to continue during the holiday period….

“The global terrorist campaign by Iran and Hezbollah continues to threaten Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, especially ‘soft’ targets, i.e. tourists and Jewish symbols,” such as rabbis, community leaders and Chabad houses.

Officials there is a “concrete threat” regarding travel to Egypt and Jordan, both of which have peace treaties with Israel, as well as the Gulf States, southern Thailand, Chechnua, some parts of northern India and the Sinai Peninsula..

It also is ill-advised to travel to Azerbaijan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman and Turkey.

Arab Rock Attacks on Israeli Drivers in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Arab terror gangs have again attacked Israeli vehicles over the past few hours on main arteries around Jerusalem.

In the early afternoon, Egged Bus No. 161, which travels through the Etzion bloc in Gush Etzion, was the target of a massive rock attack as it drove towards the capital.

Arabs hurled rocks at the sides and windshield of the bus, hoping to distract or even injure the driver enough to force an accident and stop the bus. The deadly strategy, which has been used successfully in the past, would enable the terrorists to finish off the passengers as well as the driver.

The ambush occurred near the Beitar Illit junction and the attackers smashed the windshield of the bus, but did not succeed in distracting the driver, who was well-trained. He kept the vehicle moving and drove out of harm’s way.

Miraculously, no one was physically injured although a number of passengers were traumatized by the incident.

Earlier in the day, a private vehicle was also targeted in a separate attack near Hadassah Medical Center at Mount Scopus.

Private car ambushed in Arab rock attack about 200 meters from the entrance to Hadassah Medical Center at Mt. Scopus on Sept. 1, 2014.

Private car ambushed in Arab rock attack about 200 meters from the entrance to Hadassah Medical Center at Mt. Scopus on Sept. 1, 2014.

The driver of the vehicle told the Hebrew-language 0404 website that he and his wife were attacked by Arabs about 200 meters ahead of the entrance to the medical center.

Early this morning, the Jerusalem Light Rail was also attacked by Arab thugs who hurled rocks at the train as it passed through the capital’s northern neighborhood of Shuafat. The attackers did not succeed in damaging the cars — this time — and none of the passengers were physically injured although some were traumatized.

The Light Rail only returned the route to full service through northern Jerusalem this week, after a forced hiatus due to damage caused by four attacks in a 12-hour span on Aug. 25. Rioting Arabs in Shuafat targeted the train and hurled a rain of rocks and firebombs at the rail cars, damaging several at a cost of tens of thousands of shekels and terrifying the passengers. The route was suspended for a week — cutting off service to thousands of Jewish and Arab commuters who use the line in northern Jerusalem neighborhoods.

The move followed a period in which service was suspended in early July due to the destruction of three stops in Shuafat by rioting Arabs who vowed to permanently stop the train from ever passing through the neighborhood again.

North Korea to Indict 2 Detained Americans

Monday, June 30th, 2014

North Korea has announced it plans to indict two American citizens being held in custody for unspecified crimes.

In a four-sentence statement issued by state-controlled media, North Korea said Matthew Miller, 24, and Jeffrey Fowle, 56, two tourists, had been investigated for “perpetrating hostile acts” after entering the country. The country had evidence and testimony from both about their alleged actions, the statement said.

The two entered on separate tours with Miller’s arrest first announced on April 25, two weeks after his arrival.

According to Japan’s Kyodo News, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Fowle was detained subsequently after arriving on a group tour in April, due to a Bible left in his hotel room.

The dates of the trials have not been announced, and it is expected to two may be forced into “confessions” of “criminal acts.” The State Department has updated its travel warnings, urging American citizens not to go to North Korea, pointing out the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention.

4.8 Million Israelis Traveled Overseas in 2013

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

4.8 million Israelis traveled overseas in 2013, according to a report in Yisrael Hayom.

That’s an amazing number, considering there are only 8 million citizens in Israel. It’s also the highest ratio of travelers to citizens in the world.

It’s was a 11.6% increase from 2012, up from 4.3 million. The average traveler’s age is 40, and 900,000 Israelis traveled out more than once.

July and August accounted for 1.7 million Israelis abroad. If you add in the holidays in September and October, that number jumps to 2.7 million. An astounding one-third of the country was overseas at the same time.

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder Israel never feels crowded.

Quite interesting, the time when most Israelis stop flying out of Israel are during wars and national emergencies, when the number of travelers out of the country drops dramatically and people choose to stay in Israel.

Go figure.

Negev Loses Airport Night Trains

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Residents of southern Israel – particularly those living in the periphery communities in the Negev – will no longer have the option of taking the train to and from the airport after 11:00 p.m.

A spokesperson for Israel Railways told The Jewish Press on Thursday morning the service just didn’t pay for itself. “The government and the railway company made the decision together,” said the spokesperson, who added the figures totaled only an average of five or six riders per night on the line. “It wasn’t cost effective.”

Instead, it was decided the Metropoline Bus Service will take over the route, she said. Bus #469 will begin at the Arlozorov station in Tel Aviv and then make a stop at the airport, travel to Kiryat Gat and then go to the central bus station in Be’er Sheva.

That’s a solution for folks who live in the city of Be’er Sheva itself, perhaps – but what about those who live in the small periphery towns where bus service doesn’t exist overnight?

“Tough luck, baby,” said one consumer. “We’re stuck with paying hundreds of shekels for travel after 11 pm, just like we always have – and that after first spending hours traveling to the other cities just to get a little closer. Instead of paying NIS 600 to get home, I end up paying NIS 300 from Be’er Sheva, but spend three more hours after a 12-hour flight and another hour or more in baggage claims. Forget it.”

The Negev region comprises 60 percent of the nation’s land mass – but its travel network has yet to be developed to the point that even half of its communities have any access to railway service at all.

When asked why there is still no railway branch route to Arad, for example — while Dimona, a city of similar size and population, has had one for several years – the spokesperson for Israel Railways could not find a reason. Arad, a ‘clean air’ resort town located about 45 minutes east of Be’er Sheva and 25 minutes west of the Dead Sea, is in the midst of a major development boom due to the expansion of Route 31, which runs between the two points.

The Nevatim air base is located near Route 31 – described in Hebrew media as ‘death road’ due to the high number of motor vehicle fatalities that have occurred along the highway — as is the Nahal army base at Tel Arad.

Tunisia Leader Facing Flack Over Jewish Pilgrimage to El Ghriba

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Just one day after Tunisia’s leader urged officials not to make a fuss over normalization of ties with Israel, the country’s parliament voted to “interview” its tourism minister for deciding to allow Israelis to participate in the annual Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba.

The elected National Constituent Assembly (NCA) has announced it will question Tourism Minister Amel Karboul over the decision to allow Israelis to enter Tunisia.  Also to be “interviewed” will be Security Minister Sefar Ridha, according to international media reports.

“Our problem is not with our Jewish brothers who come for the pilgrimage but with the Zionist entity that occupies Palestinian territories,” said leftist Democratic Alliance head Mohammed Hamdi.

Since the country’s Jasmine Revolution in January 2011, Tunisia has struggled with a massive economic crisis.  Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa warned the parliament Tuesday it was in Tunisia’s best interest to “make the tourist season a success, because tourism is one of the activities that brings immediate cash to the country.”

Of those activities, Jomaa noted, tourism professionals have determined “the pilgrimage to Ghriba must be successful for the tourist season to be successful.” He added, “This is a tradition known to us – the pilgrimage has been taking place for years.”

The tourism industry in Tunisia employs some 400,000 people and accounts for seven percent of the GDP.  Jomaa’s decision to create a policy of tourism “transparency” means that Israelis can for the first time use their official passports to enter the country for the pilgrimage, rather than a specific Tunisian embassy-issued document.

Tunisia had “offices of interest” in Tel Aviv in 1996, and Israel had one in Tunis as well. Those ties were established just two years after the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters which had existed in Tunisia for the twelve years prior.  But the fragile ties established between Tunisia and Israel were torn apart in October 2000 when the PLO succeeded in launching the second intifada in Israel – prompting Tunis to freeze ties in a protest against Israel’s efforts to quell the violence.

For years Jews have gone to Tunisia for the pilgrimage, with or without formal Israeli-Tunisian diplomatic ties. But an Al Qaeda terror attack on the synagogue in 2002 left 21 people dead, and killed the tourist event for the next decade. The Jasmine Revolution and the Arab Spring did the rest.

Warning of Imminent Terror Attack in Sinai

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Security officials have issued a warning of an imminent terror attack in the Sinai Peninsula in northern Egypt, and Germany has advised its citizens to flee the area.

Intelligence agents in Egypt reportedly tapped phone conversations between a Sinai terrorist group and Palestinian Authority Palestinian terrorists outside of Egypt, who instructed the group how to carry out an attack.

The warning from Germany, whose citizens make up one of the largest groups of tourists in the Sinai and Red Sea resort, comes one week after a bus bombing near Tuba, in which three tourists and their driver were killed.

Earlier this week, terrorists in Sinai attacked the natural gas pipeline to Jordan for the fifth time this year, detonating a bomb.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/warning-of-imminent-terror-attack-in-sinai/2014/02/27/

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