Counterterrorism Bureau Issues Pre-Holiday Warning

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The government's Counterterrorism Bureau issued a travel advisory for Israelis planning to go abroad during the holidays.

With Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, slightly more than a week away, the advisory said Egypt's Sinai Peninsula remains the most dangerous destination for Israeli tourists.

"Gaza-based terrorists and other terrorist groups continue to work on carrying out attacks, with an emphasis on the immediate abduction of Israelis visiting Sinai," the advisory stated.

"Although relatively few Israelis visit Sinai these days, it would be bad enough if just one or two of them is abducted and taken to Gaza or some other location," said one official quoted by Israel Hayom.

The advisory also warned against continuing efforts by Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Iranian proxy, to carry out attacks against Israelis traveling abroad.

"Iran is conducting a terrorist campaign against Israelis traveling abroad by employing, among others, its proxy, Hezbollah," the advisory stated.

The Counterterrorism Bureau has also asked certain countries, among them Greece, Bulgaria, Thailand and Cyprus, to step up their security for Israeli tourists, expected to number in the thousands during the fall holidays.

In March, Mohammed Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent claiming ties to al Qaeda, gunned down a rabbi, his two young sons and the eight-year-old daughter of the principal at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France. 

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