CTB Issues Sinai Terror Warning
The Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Saturday issued a call to Israelis in the Sinai Peninsula to immediately leave the area and return to Israel.
Families of Israelis staying in Sinai were asked to contact them, update them about the warning, and urge them to exercise exceptional caution. Israelis planning trips to the Sinai were also urged to cancel their trips in light of the warning.
Egyptian authorities dismissed the CTB warning saying Israel routinely publishes travel warnings for Sinai ahead of holidays and national events. They also claimed there "are no terrorist groups in Sinai" and that the area is "under full control."
Israel's southern resort town of Eilat was struck by rockets fired by terrorists operating in Sinai in the days before the Passover holiday. Additionally, Israel's security services have foiled several terror plots hatched by Hamas terror operators operating in Sinai in recent months.
Those include plans to kidnap Israeli soldiers, to launch cross-border attacks on Route 12 traffic in a repeat of the August 2011 bus ambush which left 8 Israelis dead, and a plot to infiltrate a suicide bombing squad into Eilat.
Nonetheless, South Sinai province governor Khaled Foda charged on Saturday that every time prosperity from tourism rises in Sinai, Israel "spreads rumors of danger in the region," hampering its citizens from spending tourism dollars in Egypt.