Israel tells citizens to leave Egypt, Jordan ‘as soon as possible’

National Security Council raises threat levels for Middle Eastern countries as Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza.

Israelis leave Turkey
Passengers board an evacuation flight by Arkia airlines flight to Tel Aviv, at Istanbul Airport in Turkey on October 18, 2023 [Mehmet Emin Caliskan/Reuters]

Israel has called on its citizens to immediately leave Egypt and Jordan, and to try and avoid travelling to other regional countries, as tensions flare over its war in Gaza.

“Israel’s National Security Council raises its travel warnings for Egypt (including Sinai) and Jordan to level 4 (high threat): recommendation not to travel to these countries and for those staying there to leave … as soon as possible,” the country’s National Security Council said in a statement on Saturday.

It also raised the threat level for Morocco to a “3” and advised Israelis to avoid non-essential travel.

Local media said the council’s announcement was due to fears that Israeli travellers would be targets of those angry at the continuing war on Gaza that began after a Hamas onslaught on October 7.

Israel is readying for a ground assault on Gaza, after two weeks of aerial attacks on the besieged Strip that have killed more than 4,100 Palestinians. About 1,400 people have also been killed in Israel.

“Due to the continuation of the war, further significant aggravation has been detected in protests against Israel in recent days in various countries of the world, with an emphasis on Arab countries in the Middle East, alongside displays of hostility and violence against Israeli and Jewish symbols,” the statement said.

The notice comes just days after Israel recalled its diplomats from Turkey as a security precaution following an earlier request for its citizens to leave as well.

The statement also recommended Israelis avoid staying in other Arab countries, including Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. And it suggested Israelis also not travel to countries including Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Maldives.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies