Israeli security forces instructed airport personnel on Saturday not to allow Israelis to pass through the Taba border crossing into the Sinai Peninsula. This is the first time the border has been shut down since it was first opened to Israel in 1982.
The border crossing restrictions were reduced slightly on Sunday, limiting the ban to entering Taba and the hotels and casinos in the area. Israeli security forces decided to close off the area after receiving serious and targeted threats from terror organizations planning to perpetrate attacks against Israelis in Sinai, particularly near Taba.
The border terminal remained open to non-Israeli tourists.
“Israelis were barred from entering the Sinai Peninsula yesterday, and on Sunday morning they modified the order, and we were informed that Israelis are only forbidden from entering Taba,” a source at the border terminal told Haaretz on Sunday.
According to the source, Israelis that planned on travelling to Sinai did not complain about its closing, returning to Eilat after it was made clear to them that Sinai is not safe for Israelis these days. Once the border was reopened, however, security forces had no way of knowing if Israelis crossing into Sinai heeded the restriction and did not stop in Taba.
The Saturday ban on travel to Sinai was aimed at all Israelis, including Arab citizens. The current restriction is only on entry to Taba However, the only way Israelis can enter southern Sinai is if they pass through Taba.
The Taba border terminal was opened in 1982. This is the first time the border, which is opened 24 hours a day every day except Yom Kippur, has been closed in 29 years.
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