TRAVEL GAZETTE – The Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a “severe” travel warning for Tunisia ahead of expected celebrations of a Jewish holiday there, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau, which operates under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office, warned Israelis to stay away from the celebrations expected to take place in the Tunisian island of Djerdba on May 25 and 26, amid Lag B’Omer, a Jewish festival traditionally regarded as celebrating the end of a plague in the 2rd century.
The council charged there is a “high concrete threat” in a trip to Tunisia, as “terrorist elements, especially those affiliated with Global Jihad, continue to operate in Tunisia and commit attacks,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
As Jewish targets are facing “a high threat level,” Israelis are advised to avoid traveling to Tunisia. Less than a thousand Jews live in the northern African country.
Thousands of Jewish pilgrims visit the tombs of famous rabbis worldwide during the Lag B’Omer holiday, with several thousands of Israelis and Jews from around the world visiting the island, where one of the last Jewish communities in the Arab world continues to live, each year.
International media outlets reported earlier in May that an Islamic State cell in Tunisia was uncovered, planning to carry out an attack against a synagogue in the country.
Israel had recently issued several travel warnings against Turkey, urging Israelis not to visit the country, where attacks by the Islamic State, as well as Kurdish separatists, have taken place in recent months.
Four Israelis have died in a March 19 attack in Istanbul, with authorities of both Turkey and Israel divided over whether the attack, carried out by the Islamic State organization, was aimed against Israelis in particular.
Israel itself is mired in a wave of unrest which started in October, in which 28 Israelis and around 200 Palestinians were killed.