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Israel Institutes Sweeping Travel Warning

March 23, 2015 (Photo Credit: MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

TEL AVIV — The Counter-Terrorism Bureau (CTB) of the Israeli National Security Council published its semi-annual travel advisory Monday urging citizens to stay away from 41 countries, nearly a quarter of UN member states.

In advance of the upcoming Passover and summer holiday season, CTB notes that warnings are based on "solid and reliable information, which reflects a real threat, based on the intelligence picture for a specific period."

Rankings range from Code Burgundy — countries where citizens are either forbidden or strongly urged not to visit due to "very high concrete threat" — to Code Yellow, where "ongoing potential threats" warrant essential travel only.

"Recent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists 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 elements inspired by the terrorist organizations," CTB announced on Monday.

By law, Israelis are forbidden to travel to six (Code Burgundy) countries defined as enemy states: Iran, Lebanon, Iraq (including Kurdistan), Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.

Additionally, CTB urged citizens to avoid or leave immediately 10 additional states or conflict-ridden regions:Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Southern Thailand, the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, Chechnya, Kashmir, Sinai, and northern Nigeria.

Countries designated as Code Red, or high concrete threat, include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Pakistan, Togo and Tunisia.

"Any Israelis present in these countries are advised to leave immediately," the bureau urged.

As for countries designated as Code Orange — those posing a "basic concrete threat" — CTB cited United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and Qatar.

Israelis are urged to avoid visiting those countries.

Among Code Yellow countries — the lowest travel advisory ranking constituting those posing "ongoing potential threats" — are Azerbaijan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman and Turkey. CTB reminded Israelis that travel to those countries is at their own risk.


Twitter: @opallrome

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