Israel says its nationals under threat in Turkey

February 16, 2011, Wednesday/ 17:52:00

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it has temporarily closed diplomatic missions in four countries in response to heightened terror threats against Israeli targets in a number of countries, including Turkey.

The threats appear to be tied to the anniversary of the killing of a former Hezbollah commander, Imad Mughniyeh, whose 2008 death in an explosion in Syria has been blamed on Israel. Hezbollah has repeatedly vowed revenge.

Responding to the threats, Israel’s National Security Council warned Israeli and Jewish travelers that they could be targets in Turkey, Egypt, Georgia, Venezuela, Armenia, the Ivory Coast, Mali and Mauritania. Officials wouldn’t say which diplomatic missions were closed, but said they were among those listed in the travel warning. The spokesperson of the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, contacted by Today’s Zaman, said the embassy was functioning as usual. Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations came to a standstill after Israeli commandos killed nine Turks during a raid on an aid ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza on May 31. Turkey has been a harsh critic of Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

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