Israel urges its citizens to “immediately leave” Egypt’s Sinai, warns of IS threat

Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau urged its citizens on Monday not to travel to Egypt’s Sinai, calling on holidaymakers currently there to leave immediately, citing terror threats by "Islamic State" (IS) militant group that may be targeting Israelis.

In a statement issued by Israel’s Anti-Terrorism Directorate, Israel said that this is a “Level 1” alert that is based on reliable information obtained by intelligence, and related to a "very high concrete threat".

"All Israelis currently in Sinai should return and … We also strongly advise that those wanting to travel to Sinai should not do so,” the directorate wrote in the statement.

"Islamic State [militant group] and those inspired by it are at the forefront of global jihadi groups that are highly motivated to carry out attacks during this period," the statement issued on Monday, said.

The alert was issued right ahead of the Passover holiday, when droves of Israelis holidaymakers usually cross the border into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to visit resorts and beaches on the Red Sea every year.

The statement specifically warned that Israeli nationals may be the target of IS members who will be ready to carry out attacks during the holidays period.

Northern Sinai, not southern Sinai – where the majority of resorts and beaches are located – has been the site of numerous clashes between the Egyptian army and militants affiliated to the "Islamic State" group. The group has been holding its operations in the North Sinai governorate; however, the statement issued by Israel held a general warning, not specifying which part of the Sinai the threat is targeting.

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