Israel warns travelers of kidnapping plot in Sinai Peninsula

By Janine Zacharia
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, April 13, 2010; 1:55 PM

JERUSALEM -- In a highly unusual travel warning, Israel on Tuesday urged its nationals vacationing in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to immediately return home because there were imminent plans for an Israeli to be kidnapped there.

The statement, issued by the counterterrorism bureau of the prime minister's office, said Israelis should make contact with their relatives in the Sinai and tell them to return home.

While Israel routinely issues travel warnings regarding travel in the Sinai, Israeli officials described this particular order to return home immediately as highly unusual, or even unprecedented.

The Sinai, just south of Israel's most southern city, Eilat, is a popular destination for Israelis because of its beautiful beaches along the Red Sea and inexpensive lodgings.

Terrorist attacks in recent years in the Sinai have included bombings at the resort town of Dahab in 2006, Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005 and in Taba in 2004.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company