Israeli security chiefs advise on this year’s no-go countries for Jews and Israelis

Turkey, Morocco, Egypt – including Sinai – and Jordan are all on the list


An Israeli man lies on the beach while talking to Bedouin Arabs in Egypt's Sinai Desert (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Israel’s National Security Council on Thursday published its annual threat assessment for citizens travelling abroad. It cited Islamist elements in particular, primarily Iran – “the main source of global terrorism.”

In recent years, a “continuous trend of heightened threats” against Israelis abroad has been identified, the council said in a press statement summarising its findings.

Just in the last few months, dozens of attacks against Israeli targets worldwide have been foiled, it said, rating the potential for terrorist threats against Israelis and Jews as “extremely high.”

Those threats have only increased since the start on October 7 of “Operation Swords of Iron,” Israel’s current war against Hamas.

The National Security Council listed the following countries to be avoided: Turkey, Morocco, Egypt (including Sinai) and Jordan. It noted that travel warnings don’t normally apply to a stay in the country for connecting flights, though they do in countries with a high threat level, ie Syria or Yemen.

Tehran stands out as the greatest promoter of terrorism. “In recent years, Iran has expanded its activities to harm Israeli citizens and Jews around the world, both directly and through its agents (proxies) and helpers,” the council said.

It cited several instances, including Iran’s attempt in 2021 to kill Israeli businessmen in Cyprus, and similar events in Colombia, Turkey, Georgia and Greece. (The NSC noted that there were still more examples not cleared for publication.)

Hamas is also looking to kill Israelis and Jews abroad. In December 2023, Hamas terrorist infrastructure was discovered in several countries in northern Europe.

Joining Hamas is a collection of lesser-known global jihadist organisations energised by the Gaza war to attack Jews. Their activity is focused on Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Occasionally, they strike in other countries, for example the March 22 Isis attack on a Moscow theatre. Weeks earlier, Russian security forces had foiled an “Isis” attack against a Moscow synagogue.

The main threat in Western countries from these organisations is in the form of individual attacks, such as the Muslim who stabbed a Jew on a street in Switzerland on March 3.

The NSC also warned of an increase in online incitement from the extreme right with manifestations of antisemitism in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia.

“Jewish communities are also a major target in terms of the extreme right, with religious and community institutions being a preferred target on holidays and festivals,” the council said.

The NSC noted that there is a ban on Israelis travelling to countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran, where there is the highest risk of kidnapping and injury.

It suggested several precautions Israeli travellers should take, including avoiding crowded places, maintaining high vigilance, avoiding external Israeli symbols, and refraining from posting travel details on social networks or pictures of trips in real-time.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive