Israelis remain in Sinai despite travel warnings; Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau head: Threat is serious

Despite the closure of the Taba Border Crossing and the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau’s serious travel warning, Israelis in Sinai are refusing to leave. “There’s no reason to be afraid,” an Israeli father who is in Sinai with his family said. “All of the worries are really just in our heads.”
Israelis in Sinai Photo Credit: Ahmed Suliman (Fayrouz Beach)/Channel 2 News

Even though the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau has emphasized its travel warning urging Israelis in Sinai to leave immediately and return to Israel and the Taba Border Crossing has been shut down so that additional Israelis cannot cross the border in Egypt during the Passover holiday, Israelis who are already vacationing in Sinai are not frightened. “There’s nothing to be afraid of [here],” an Israeli in Sinai told Channel 2 Online. “Everything’s fine here.”

“We’re staying here,” said Kesem, Shir and Shiran, who are vacationing together in Sinai along the beach. “It’s peaceful here. We enjoy the quietness.” An Israeli who is Sinai with his wife and their young son explained that he is not worried about the threats: “We are very happy. We arrived yesterday. There were no troubles on the way. There’s no reason to be afraid. All of the worries are really just in our heads. Once you arrive at the beach in Sinai, everything is okay.”

The Taba Border Crossing Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Meanwhile, Eitan Ben-David, the head of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau and the interim head of Israel’s National Security Council, explained the serious travel warning. “In the recent weeks, the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued several travel warnings regarding Sinai,” he said, adding that the current threat is serious: “This is serious and imminent information that explicitly includes a threat against Israelis in Sinai.”

Ben-David stressed that the threat has significantly increased recently “due to the growing motivation of terrorist organization, especially those in Sinai, to harm Israel and Israelis.”

“This morning, we decided to take another step to ensure the safety of Israelis and that decision was to shut down the Taba Border Crossing,” he continued. “This wasn’t an easy decision for us. This is a historic border, a border of peace between Israel and Egypt.”

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