The National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau’s serious warning against travelling to the Sinai Peninsula was prompted by the release of an Al-Qaeda operative from a prison in Gaza and his return to Sinai.
Thursday’s warning said that “From information at our disposal, it arises that terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and additional elements are actively planning to perpetrate terrorist attacks, especially abductions, against Israeli tourists in Sinai in the immediate term.
“The NSCCTB reiterates its call to all Israelis in Sinai to leave the area immediately and return home. The families of Israelis in Sinai are requested to contact them and update them regarding this travel warning. The NSCCTB also emphatically recommends that all those planning to leave for Sinai refrain from doing so.”
Channel 2 News reported on Friday that the terrorist who was released from Gaza and returned to Egypt is Hisham Sa'idmi, who was among the founders of a salafist terrorist organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
The report noted that Sa’idmi spent the last 17 months behind bars in a prison in Gaza. It remains unclear whether his release is part of a deal between Egypt and the Hamas leadership in Gaza.
The latest travel warning comes in light of increased tension along Israel’s southern border. Last week, a branch of the Al-Qaeda terror group based in Sinai claimed responsibility for the repeated attacks on the pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Jordan and Israel.
The group released a video in which it claimed responsibility for the attacks and said that they were meant to “protect state resources and the rights of the poor.”
Several hours after the pipeline was attacked for the 15th time on July 22, terrorists hiding behind sand dunes fired on a bus filled with soldiers.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)