Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called on Israelis planning to fly to Istanbul to cancel their trips in light of the uncovered Iranian plot to attack Israeli citizens in Turkey.
"Following the events of recent weeks in Turkey and after a series of attempts by Iran to commit terrorist attacks against Israelis who went on vacation in Istanbul, we call on Israelis not to fly to Istanbul. If you do not have a vital need, do not fly to Turkey. If you are already in Istanbul, return to Israel as soon as possible," Lapid said at the weekly Yesh Atid faction meeting Monday.
He said, "Israel's security organizations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister's Office, have all participated in recent weeks in a tremendous effort that saved the lives of Israelis. Some of them have returned to Israel and walked among us without knowing that their lives were saved."
"These terrorist incidents are against Israelis who have gone on vacation. They are deliberately targeting Israeli citizens to kidnap or murder them. It can happen anyone. It is a real and immediate danger. There is no vacation worth your life and the lives of your loved ones. Listen to the instructions that we issue, we update the guidelines all the time according to the assessment of the situation," he added.
"I would like to thank the Turkish government for the effort they are making to protect the lives of Israeli citizens. Tourism to Turkey is important to both countries, but they also understand that there are risks that must not be taken.
"I also want to convey a message to the Iranians: Whoever harms Israelis will not be immune from retaliation. Israel's long arm will reach them no matter where they are."
"We hope and believe that this warning will not be long-term. This is the tourist season, and we will make every effort to bring a security calm in a short time that will allow Israelis to return to Turkey and enjoy everything it has to offer. Until then, the warning remains and I call on anyone who has planned a flight to find other destinations," Lapid concluded.