Report: Officials concerned about Israel’s travel to the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt

As the threat of an Iranian attack in Turkey continues to rise, an Israeli television network reported on Sunday that senior officials are also concerned about travel to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt.

Israel has issued a series of repeated harsh warnings to Israeli travelers in recent weeks to avoid visiting Turkey, due to a real and immediate threat to Iranian cells seeking to kill or kidnap Israelis. It also said it thwarted the attempted attack with the help of the Turkish authorities.

Channel 13 news, citing unnamed Israeli security officials, said on Sunday that while the threat in other destinations is not tangible, risks may emerge soon if Tehran becomes “desperate” to commit an attack.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying: “I recommend the Israelis not to go there, and if they go, they should be more careful.”

It was announced on Sunday that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will leave on Thursday for a short trip to Turkey, where he will meet with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

On Sunday, Channel 13 reported, without quoting a source, that Israeli security officials visited Turkey in recent days and shared with their Turkish counterparts “very detailed intelligence” that Israel has about Iranian assassination squads inside the country.

People take pictures outside the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul’s main tourist attractions in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district, July 11, 2020 (Emrah Gurel/AP/File)

Channel 13 also reported that some cells had left Turkey, apparently as a result of Turkey and Israel’s disruptive efforts, but that some agents still had clear Iranian directives to kill the Israelis. This report was also without a source.

Since early last week, Israeli officials have issued urgent warnings that Iranian terrorist cells are looking to avenge the killing of a senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in May by targeting Israelis in Turkey.

Senior Israeli officials warned Friday of “concrete” threats that Iran is trying to carry out a terrorist attack on Israelis in Istanbul at the weekend, and urged all citizens to leave Turkey immediately. It also ordered those who remained in the city to stay in their hotels.

The warnings came amid unverified reports in the Hebrew press that Israeli and Turkish intelligence had already thwarted several planned attacks of a vast network of Iranian agents, and arrested some suspects.

It is believed that there are currently about 2,000 Israelis in Turkey.

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