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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Travel Warning’

Israel, US Warn Citizens to Leave Turkey Immediately Due to ‘High Concrete Threat’

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Both Israel and the United States are warning their citizens to leave Turkey immediately in the face of “credible” terror threats.

The warning from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara followed Israel’s “high concrete threat” barely a day later.

“Following a situational assessment, we are reiterating and sharpening the high level of threat in Turkey,” read the warning posted by the National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTB).

A Da’esh suicide bomber in Istanbul targeted a group of Israelis and other tourists in an attack on March 19, 2016 that left four people dead, three of them Israeli, and wounded 39 others, including 11 Israelis.

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel alert for Turkey towards the end of last month less than two weeks later, warning of another impending attack.

This weekend, the bureau repeated and sharpened its warning, saying that it recommends that Israelis “avoid traveling to the country and those who are there, leave as soon as possible…Israeli tourists currently in Turkey are asked to refrain from going to crowded tourist sites. Follow the instructions of local security officials and the media, and leave the country as soon as possible. To the families of Israeli tourists, please update your relatives about this warning,” the advisory adds.

“There are immediate risks of attacks being carried out in the country, and we stress the threat applies to all tourism sites in Turkey.”

The U.S. warned its citizens in an emergency travel warning published on the website of the embassy in Turkey Saturday night. The warning advised citizens of “credible threats to tourist areas, in particular to public squares and docks in Istanbul and Antalya. Please exercise extreme caution if you are in the vicinity of such areas,” the American travel warning stated.

Antalya is a major tourist attraction on Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline. Millions of people are drawn to the site every year, making it a perfect target for terrorists.

Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting against Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

Coalition aircraft use an air base located in Turkey, at the southeastern city of Incirlik, to bomb Da’esh targets.

In addition, Turkish citizens have been targeted by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization, based in southeastern Turkey as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Warns Citizens to Leave Turkey ASAP

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Israel’s National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTB) upgraded its travel warning for Turkey on Monday to that of a “high concrete threat.”

But the threat is not just terrorism, although that is where the current danger lies. Ultimately, there is a greater existential threat beneath.

The counter-terrorism bureau warned Israelis not to travel to the country, and told those who are already there to leave as soon as possible.

“The deadly 19 March 2016 attack in Istanbul, in which a group of Israeli tourists was hit, underscores the threat by Da’esh (ISIS) against tourist targets throughout Turkey and proves high capabilities of carrying out further attacks.

“Terrorist infrastructures in Turkey continue to advance additional attacks against tourist targets – including Israeli tourists – throughout the country,” the warning continued.

Although Da’esh has carried out most of the attacks and the outlawed PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party terror group has carried out the rest, for Israelis, the Hamas terrorist organization presents an equal threat. The international Hamas headquarters is located in Istanbul, and yet no mention has been made of its existence despite its ongoing pledge to annihilate Israel and her Jewish citizens. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party welcomed Hamas to the country; Erdogan is a passionate supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood which gave birth to Hamas.

This fact stands in stark contrast to Erdogan’s recent vows to “fight terrorist together with Israel,” leaving one to wonder where he really stands.

“In the wake of an NSCCTB assessment of the situation, it has been decided to upgrade the existing travel warning vis-à-vis Turkey from a basic concrete threat to a high concrete threat, and to reiterate our recommendation to the public to avoid visiting the country and – for Israelis currently in Turkey – to leave as soon as possible.”

There are many Israelis who live in Turkey. A large number are intermarried with Turkish citizens. Some are there because they simply love the beauty of the country, its music and its art. Others are there for reasons relating to their business or artistic concerns.

While it is possible to find a few imported kosher items here and there in Istanbul, one has to hunt very hard to track them down. There are no local kosher supervising agencies. The only exception is the hechsher provided by the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey on a few tourist-related items such as “Turkish Delight” candies.

For the kosher traveler, one can order La Casa packaged meals that are used by Turkish Airlines and under the hechsher of the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey. As it happens, La Casa is also a catering service and actually creates one of the best-quality meals in the industry. Jewish travelers rely on it when visiting Turkey — with the exception of one restaurant and a kosher butcher who stocks frozen foods, there are no other options.

JewishPress.com spoke exclusively with some Jews who live in the country during a recent visit to learn how Jews are faring in Turkey and to give them a voice, if possible.

Not one of the Turkish Jews with whom this news outlet spoke was willing to be identified and most were unwilling to meet in person. Of those who did agree to meet, the tension – nay, fear – was palpable. Even after assurances this reporter would not record the conversation, it took repeated promises that no names would be used before sources could relax enough to speak.

The following narrative is a mashup of the comments of several sources with whom this reporter spoke while in Turkey, in order to fulfill that promise of protecting their identities.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Invents Bubonic Plague Epidemic in US

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Russia has invented a supposed widespread epidemic of Bubonic Plague in the United States to advise citizens to stay home during the December holiday period.

Very little happens in Russia without political overtones, and it does not seem coincidental that Russia decided to invent an epidemic and single out the United States while not mentioning security concerns and the wave of terror in Israel.

More than one million former Soviet Bloc residents live in Israel and frequently are visited by relatives and friends.

Russia and the Obama administration are in a mini-Cold War, even colder since Vladimir Putin filled the power vacuum in Syria and sent in Russian planes and troops to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) and also to take the opportunity to bomb rebels opposing its puppet Basher al-Assad.

On the other hand, Israel and Russia have been coordinating remarkably over the combat that touches the northern border at the Golan Heights.

The country’s consumer protection agency stated that 10-15 cases of Bubonic Plague have been reported in the United States this year. That is true, but it is far from an epidemic. Although the average number of cases is six a year, there were 17 cases in 2006.

Bubonic Plague usually strikes in areas far from the path of tourists. Cases this year have been reported in rural and semi-rural areas in eight states, mostly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. Georgia, Utah, Oregon, California and Michigan each have reported one case, but two of the victims were infected in Colorado and California.

Although it can strike at any time, the disuse usually occurs in from late spring to early fall and not in the dead of winter. The last reported case was in October in Oregon.

Moscow also warned travelers of security risks in Egypt, Thailand, and Turkey, favorite vacation spots for Russians, according to the Associated Press.

Russia also advised everyone to spend their money at home instead of taking a risk to their health by traveling to Europe, where it said Syrian refugees have brought infections with them.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Holiday Travel Warnings from Israel’s Counter-Terror Bureau

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Holiday travel by Israelis and Jews — especially during the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which is entirely filled with the holiest days of the Jewish calendar — is a cultural tradition.

Unfortunately, Arab terrorists rely on that practice and make their plans accordingly as well, thus requiring overtime hours from Israeli security personnel.

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau of the Israeli National Security Council has just issued its pre-holiday travel warning for Israelis and Jews who are traveling abroad for this joyous time of year.

The upcoming fall holidays are liable to constitute pretexts for terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad, warns the statement from the council.

“The following travel warnings are based on solid and reliable information and reflect tangible threats,” the statement begins.

“Recent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists over the past year in Belgium, Canada, Australia, France and Denmark raise concerns over additional attacks against Western targets, including Israeli and Jewish targets, by veterans of the fighting in Syria and Iraq who are affiliated with Global Jihad (including Islamic State) and by local and regional elements inspired by the terrorist organizations.”

The global terrorist campaign by Iran and Hezbollah continues to threaten Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, “especially tourists and Jewish symbols – rabbis, community leaders, Chabad houses.”

In particular, the council noted, “a severe travel warning remains in effect for the Sinai Peninsula.”

It is illegal for Israelis to travel to Syria, Iraq (including Iraqi Kurdistan), Iran, Lebanon, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and “there are very high concrete threats” regarding travel to those countries, the council says.

The same applies for travel to Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Burkina-Faso, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Mali, Pakistan and Togo. “It is recommended that the public avoid all visits to these countries. Any Israelis present in these countries are advised to leave immediately,” according to the council.

“There are high concrete threats regarding travel to Algeria, Djibouti, Mauritania and Tunisia. It is recommended that the public avoid visits to these countries. Any Israelis present in these countries are advised to leave as soon as possible.”

There are basic concrete threats regarding travel to Bahrain, Egypt (see below for Sinai), Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. “It is recommended that the public avoid visiting these countries,” the council advises.

“There are continuing potential threats regarding travel to Azerbaijan, Turkey, Morocco, Oman, Kenya (see below) and Nigeria (see below). It is recommended that the public avoid non-essential visits to these countries.”

In addition, the council issues travel warnings for several regions as well.

“There are very high concrete threats regarding travel to southern Thailand (from the Krabi-Thammarat line to the Malaysian border), the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, Chechnya (in Russia), the northern India state of Jammu and Kashmir (except for the Ladakh area), the Sinai peninsula and northern Nigeria (above 10 degrees north latitude).

“It is recommended that the public avoid visits to these regions. Any Israelis present in these regions are advised to leave as soon as possible.

There is also a “high concrete threat regarding travel to eastern Senegal. It is recommended that the public avoid visiting this region. Any Israelis present in this region are advised to leave as soon as possible.”

According to the report, there is a “basic concrete threat regarding travel to Kenya (Nairobi and the coastal strip). It is recommended that the public avoid visiting these areas.”

Travelers and tourists are called upon to exercise due caution at all times, the council advises.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Issues Travel Warning for Nepal

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for Nepal on Tuesday, reminding citizens the country still faces hardships and disease due to recent earthquakes and an avalanche on Mount Everest.

The death toll is still rising in the devastated nation high above in the Himalayas, with more than 7,200 dead and more than 14,000 injured found.

United Nations estimates place the damage and/or destruction of homes at more than half a million, and up to 600,000. Of the country’s 28 million citizens, at least 2 million are completely homeless and in need of tents and basic survival supplies. Up to 8 million are affected and many of those displaced.

The biggest fear now is, how to prevent disease from taking over next.

Despite assistance from the international community – with Israel providing one-third of the total human resource aid – Nepalese are struggling for survival. There are areas with contaminated drinking water, remote villages without food, shortages of medicine and medical aid. Aftershocks are continuing, some stronger than others.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry advises that under such circumstances, it is not wise to travel to Nepal at this time. Those already in the country should take these conditions into consideration before deciding to extend their stay – including those who independently decided to remain as volunteers in rescue efforts.

In the last few days that search and rescue teams were tracking down stranded Israelis, there were reports of attacks against the young foreign trekkers by Nepalese as conditions became more desperate and food, water and other survival necessities were needed.

Hana Levi Julian

US Issues Travel Warning as Snowstorm Nears Israel

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The U.S. Embassy has jumped on this week’s snow wagon and has issued an unusual travel warning that the predicted storm could duplicate last year’s “closure of major roadways, stranded and isolated motorists, and difficult/perilous travel conditions.”

The Embassy usually warns Americans in Israel against Arab riots and terrorist attacks, but this time took the meteorological route to warn against travel, and it suggested that people “consider deferring any non-essential travel to impacted areas.”

It added, “Even a small amount of snow accumulation can result in road closures and perilous driving conditions, especially in elevated areas.

“If you are required to travel under these conditions, ensure your vehicle has a full tank of fuel. Pack warm winter clothing, boots, water, shovel, and emergency food supplies in the event you are stranded.”

The panic is justifiable.

Amateur weather buffs, who often – but not always – are more accurate than Israel’s official weather bureau, predict that up to 2 feet of snow will fall in Tzfat (Safed) and other high altitude areas by mid-week.

Snow will fall in Jerusalem, but it is too early to predict how much.

Most importantly, there will be huge amounts of rain that will help restore Israel’s depleted water reservoirs, including the Kinneret as well as the underground aquifers.

Up to 6 inches of rain may fall, particularly along the coast and in the north.

The snow may fall in areas as low as 500 feet high, which would include Nazareth and some areas in the northern Negev.

Hail, thunderstorms and very high winds are expected when the storm smacks around Wednesday, although some weather models indicate it might hit Israel Tuesday night.

Heavy rain fell in the north and in Jerusalem on the Sabbath and is expected to continue into the night, possible as far as south as the northern Negev.

Snow fell on the lower slopes of the Hermon.

Rain will taper off a bit by Sunday afternoon.

Local rains are expected on Monday, with slightly higher temperatures, but this is just to fool everyone that it is all over.

On Monday evening and Tuesday morning, heavy winds, with little precipitation will preview the big storm, which will begin to dump on the north in the afternoon.

The precipitation will take an afternoon break and return in full force during the night, when snow will spread from the Hermon to the northern Golan Heights and Upper Galilee, meaning Safed.

Snow, rain and hail will continue on Wednesday, especially in the north and along the coast, and will spread inward and south in the afternoon. Temperatures will drop like a rock.

On Thursday, most of the country will be wet, if not white.

Low-lying areas will be flooded, and there will be flash floods in the Dead Sea and Arava areas.

After it is all over, the temperatures will drop even more, resulting in icy conditions on the roads.

Take into account that forecasting the weather, especially snow, in Israel is tricky, but this time around, all opinions are that it is going to a wicked weather week.

And remember, we are asking God every day for winds and rain, so don’t complain.

We need the water.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israelis Should Avoid Visiting Turkey, Govt. Says

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

The Israeli government issued an unequivocal travel advisory on Monday warning Israelis to avoid visiting Turkey, a popular vacation destination for Israelis over the summer and during the upcoming Jewish holidays, Israel Hayom reported.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued its routine semi-annual travel warning, formulated by the office’s Counterterrorism Bureau, stating that all non-essential visits to Turkey “should be avoided.”

The threat issuing from Turkey is defined as an “ongoing potential threat,” a mid-level threat on the bureau’s five-level scale. Turkey is now on the same threat level as countries where jihadi terror cells are known to be operating, including Nigeria, Kenya and Azerbaijan.

The travel warning is for the upcoming Jewish holidays in September. So far, over the summer months of July and August, tens of thousands of Israelis have visited Turkey.

The Counterterrorism Bureau also recommended that Israelis avoid visiting the two countries with which Israel shares a border and a peace agreement: Egypt and Jordan. In those two countries, the threat facing Israelis was defined as a “basic concrete threat,” one level higher than the threat facing Israelis in Turkey. For Morocco, another popular destination for Israelis, an “ongoing potential threat” warning was issued.

JNS News Service

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israelis-should-avoid-visiting-turkey-govt-says/2013/08/20/

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