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Sinai Peninsula Terrorist Threat

Sinai peninsula is the target of a terrorist threat per Israel's "urgent" warning issued Tuesday. Israel urgently implored its citizens to leave Egypt immediately after having received "concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai." The official statement from the Israeli government was directed to "all Israelis residing in Sinai" and instructed them "to leave immediately and return home. Families of Israelis residing in Sinai are asked to contact them and update them on the travel warning."

Israeli prime minister asked families of Israelis visiting the Sinai to "contact [the government] immediately." Brig. Gen. Nitzan Uriel, commander of Israel's anti-terror office, largely dismissed the recent claim as rumor but also sternly reminded his people that "We [the Israeli government] work according to firm intelligence" in a press statement. Uriel furthered that "It is very possible that at this moment, there is a terror cell that has the intention and has a plan in operation to kidnap an Israeli and bring him to Gaza." Uriel also speculated that "Sinai is a big place and it is not impossible to kidnap an Israeli from one of the beaches in the present circumstances."

Uriel maintained that there are over 1,200 Israelis presently in the region. Authorities in Egypt have found no information or evidence confirming the treat nor any missing Israelis. A similar warning had dire consequences for those staying at Egypt's Taba Hilton Hotel in 2004. The hotel was located near the Israeli border and was the site where dozens of people were killed and hundreds were wounded by suicide bombers. The Sinai was also the site of two other bomb attacks by extremist groups in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005 and Dahab in 2006. Both incidents killed dozens of Israelis.

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