It warned of a retaliatory attack by Hezbollah to mark the anniversary of the death of Imad Mughniyah, a high-ranking operative of the organization, in February of last year.
An attack by Hezbollah against Israeli targets abroad would not be unprecedented, as the terror group most notably bombed the Buenos Aires Jewish Community center in Argentina on July 18, 1994 under Mughniyah’s direction.
“The Hezbollah organization is evidently prepared to carry out a severe terror attack along the lines of an assassination or kidnapping an Israeli target, including abroad,” the Counter-Terrorism Bureau statement read. “Such an attack threatens every Israeli, particularly high-ranking Israelis.”
The bureau reiterated its instructions and the rules of caution for Israelis abroad are more strict: Be very alert to unusual occurrences; to change routines of activity abroad and change hotels or restaurants; not to stay in Arab or Muslim countries; to turn down suggestions by suspect or unknown individuals; to hold meetings in crowded places with several trusted companions; and not to let suspect guests into their hotel rooms.
As part of this initiative, the travel advisory for Israelis in the Sinai was again intensified.
“A concrete, immediate and severe threat to kidnap Israelis from the beaches of Sinai and smuggle them to the Gaza Strip has been discovered. Hezbollah’s involvement in this act of terrorism increases its severity,” a spokesman said. “Therefore, we call upon Israelis to leave Sinai â€¨ immediately.”
Meanwhile, Director of Israel Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin commented on the anniversary of the assassination of Mughniyah during the cabinet meeting.
“Hezbollah is obligated to carry out a terror attack in the wake of Mughniyah’s death, but will try to â€¨perpetrate an attack that will not lead to renewed fighting with Israel,” he said.
The list of countries that the Counter-Terrorism Bureau warns against visiting includes Egypt – particularly the Sinai – Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Mauritania, India and the Chechen Republic in Russia. Officials of the Israel Counter-Terrorism Bureau said that it was better that Israelis refrain completely from traveling to those locations, but since quite a few â€¨tourists and businesspeople are not canceling their trips, they must obey the cautionary rules all the more carefully.