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      Officials: Sinai Desert not Safe for Israelis

      National Anti-Terror Unit issues stern travel warning to Israelis urges those already there to return home asap.
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 7/7/2013, 10:17 PM

      Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula
      Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula
      AFP photo

      The National Anti-Terror Unit on Sunday issued a travel warning for Sinai, and warned Israelis still there to come home immediately. “Given the deteriorating security situation in Sinai, which includes numerous violent clashes between groups, along with intelligence we have received about possible terror attacks,” the warning strongly suggests that Israelis avoid Sinai altogether, including the popular resort of Taba on the border near Eilat.

      With the deposing by the Egyptian army of Mohammed Morsi and the arrests of top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, many of the Brotherhood have been clearing out of large cities and taking refuge in remote areas, like Sinai. Over the weekend, angry riots broke out in El Arish between pro- and anti-Morsi groups, and on Saturday night the Egyptian army announced that it was moving troops and tanks into Sinai in order to root out Brotherhood and pro-Morsi groups.

      In addition to the unrest in Sinai, the Anti-Terror Unit said that it had been made aware of terror attacks that groups were seeking to execute against Israelis. “Israelis are likely to be targeted in the coming days, with terror groups seeking to kidnap them” for ransom or political purposes.

      The Unit “strongly warns against traveling to Sinai, and strongly suggest that those already there return home immediately,” it said in a statement.