Sinai Terror Attack ‘Imminent,’ Say Israeli Security Officials

YERUSHALAYIM -
The mountains of south Sinai are viewed from the window during a flight to Cairo from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)

The National Antiterror Council has issued a “severe warning” for travel to Sinai, citing “concrete information” on specific terror threats at tourism sites. The terror attacks are likely to take place “in the immediate future,” the Council said in its warning, adding that it had issued its highest-level warning on the matter.

That “immediate future” could be Wednesday, the anniversary of several major terror attacks that Sinai terror groups undertook against tourism sites and Egyptian security personnel in 2011. Any Israelis still in Sinai were advised to leave immediately. All should contact family members and inform them of their whereabouts as well.

Speaking to Army Radio Wednesday, Ahmad Suleiman, proprietor of a Sinai campsite, dismissed the warning, saying that “Sinai is safe, Egyptian soldiers are everywhere, and we maintain safety at our site. Don’t believe everything you hear in the media,” he said. Several Israelis who were staying at his campsite had left just that morning, he added, after receiving the terror warning via text message.

Security officials on Wednesday were searching for the driver of an Arab vehicle who burst through an IDF checkpoint earlier in the morning. The driver drove through Hizme checkpoint north of Yerushalayim without stopping. Security forces fired in the air, but the driver did not slow down, and he disappeared into an Arab village. The vehicle has not been found yet either.

Overnight Tuesday, security officials said they arrested 17 wanted security suspects in areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.