Dozens of families from the Lev Tahor cult were seen over the past few days in the Guatemala airport, reportedly making their way to the Iran-Kurdistan border.
Yediot Aharonot noted that the initial plan, formulated due to concerns that members may be arrested, was to move to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq which borders Iran. Lev Tahor believes this area is the "biblical Babylon" and that the Messiah will arrive there first.
According to a report by Yediot Aharonot's Itamar Eichner, Israeli relatives urgently requested aid from the Foreign Ministry, due to concerns that the Iranians would kidnap the travelers for use as negotiating chips.
According to the relatives, members of the Lev Tahor cult, including children and babies who hold Israeli passports, are attempting to escape Guatemala to the Iran-Kurdistan border.
A parallel process has been ongoing among those families with American passports, who are attempting to evade the State Department.
"Their arrival at the Iran-Kurdistan border may cause a mega-political and security event," the relatives wrote in their letter to Israel's Justice and Foreign ministries.
"The Shalit Deal will look like child's play next to this," they added, urging the ministers to push their Guatemalan counterparts to prevent the Lev Tahor members from leaving the country.
Since 2014, when US authorities began to act against the cult, Lev Tahor members have lived in Oratorio, approximately 31 miles from Guatemala City.
The cult includes approximately 40 families.