Israelis are being advised to stay away from Turkey, and those inside should leave as soon as possible.
In accordance with the National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTB)’s security assessment, Israel is increasing its security warning for citizens traveling to Turkey.
The warning was at level 3 (basic concrete threat) and will now be set at level 2 (high concrete threat).
In practical terms, this means that the Counter-terrorism Office advises the Israeli public to avoid visiting the country and suggests that citizens currently in Turkey leave as soon as possible.
It follows a report by SkyNews on Sunday evening claiming that terrorists from Islamic State have advanced plans to murder Jewish children in Turkey, targeting kindergartens, schools and youth centres.
Information on what intelligence officials are describing as an “imminent” attack was obtained from six operatives from the “Caliphate” who were arrested in the southern city of Gaziantep over the last week.
The most likely target of an attack is Istanbul’s synagogue in Beyoglu, which also has a community centre and a school attached to it.
According to Arutz Sheva, a statement on the increased threat level noted that last Saturday’s deadly attack in central Istanbul, “underscores the threat by ISIS against tourist targets throughout Turkey and proves high capabilities of carrying out further attacks. Terrorist infrastructures in Turkey continue to advance additional attacks against tourist targets – including Israeli tourists – throughout the country.”
The official updated warning explains: “In the wake of an NSCCTB assessment of the situation, it has been decided to upgrade the existing travel warning vis-à-vis Turkey from a basic concrete threat to a high concrete threat, and to reiterate our recommendation to the public to avoid visiting the country and – for Israelis currently in Turkey – to leave as soon as possible.”