Israelis Warned Before Blasts To Stay Away From Sinai
Counter-Terrorism Bureau Head Danny Arditi issued a warning to Israeli citizens just a few weeks ago to refrain from visiting any Arab country.In contrast, a statement from an eyewitness at the scene:
Speaking to Ynet, Arditi said: "The warnings in our hands lead to small organizations affiliated with al-Qaeda in one way or another. A month ago we issue a travel warning to Israelis against traveling to Egypt, including Sinai, following relatively reliable intelligence on intentions to carry out terror attacks against foreign and Israeli tourists."
"According to this report there were fear that a terror attack or an abduction of Israelis in Sinai could be carried out. We strongly advised Israeli citizens to avoid all visits in Sinai, and for Israelis staying in Sinai to leave immediately," Arditi said.
He added: "I repeated the warning that Sinai is a dangerous place according to the information in our hands. Sinai is dangerous to tourists in general and to Israelis specifically. I call on everyone planning to travel to Sinai on Independence Day and in the near future not to do it and for Israelis in Sinai to return to Israel immediately."
British tourist Paul McBeath told Sky News that there had been "no warning whatsoever."Draw your own conclusions.
"There were just three loud bangs and people rushing around," McBeath said. "Everybody is shaken."
UPDATE: I recommend you read the comments to this post. However, one comment is particularly important.
This is a conflicting report from Debkafile that not only says that there was NO warning, but also says Israelis were ASSURED by Egyptian officials that there was NO danger in Sinai.
DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources add:It's not clear which report is true, though every other news site reports that Israel did warn its citizens. Regardless which report is accurate, however, Israel has some explaining to do.
"This year, Israelis joined the stream of foreign tourists to Sinai after Egypt informed Israel and the United States that its security forces had cleared the al Qaeda cells out of their sanctuaries in the central Sinai Hilal mountain range and the Bedouin tribes and the peninsula resorts were now safe.
For the first time in three years, Jerusalem did not issue a warning to Israeli travelers to stay clear of Sina for the Passover holiday which ended last week."