Israel closes Taba crossing with Egypt’s Sinai for fear of attacks

JERUSALEM-- Israel on Monday closed the Taba Crossing to prevent its citizens from traveling to Egypt's Sinai, citing security threats in the wake of Sunday's deadly twin attacks in Egypt.

A statement released by the Counter-Terrorism Bureau, operating under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister's office, said the crossing will remain closed until the end of the Jewish high holiday of Passover next week.

The crossing is a passageway connecting the resort city of Eilat in southern Israel and the resort town of Taba in Sinai.

The block was imposed as "a protective measure," the statement said, to prevent Israelis from traveling to resorts in Sinai, where many Israelis to spend their Passover vacation.

"It has been decided not to allow exiting of Israeli citizens from Taba to Sinai, effective immediately," the statement added.

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau said the decision was made in the wake of "an increased severe and immediate threat, and under the approval of the political echelon."

In recent months, Islamic State-linked group increased their operations in Sinai, raising fears of an attack against tourists in Sinai, according to the statement.

The move came a day after the bureau announced a Level 1 travel warning for Sinai and urged Israelis to leave the region "immediately."

The crossing will remain open for inbound travelers, the statement added.

On Sunday, at least 27 people were killed and 78 others injured in an explosion inside a church in the Egyptian Nile delta city of Tanta.

Hours later, over 17 people were killed and 48 in a second church bombing attack outside St. Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria.

Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Related posts