Israel warns nationals against travel to Thailand
Dozens of protestors storm Interior Ministry in Bangkok; No flights from Ben-Gurion Airport cancelled.
The anti-terrorism office issued a travel advisory on Sunday warning Israelis against travel to Thailand following the widespread unrest in the country.
Officials in the office, which is under the purview of the Prime Minister's Office, said the threat level in the country is "concrete and high" and that travelers are advised to avoid visiting the country, particularly Bangkok and other areas in the south.
Rioting erupted in Bangkok, with protesters commandeering public buses and swarming triumphantly over military vehicles in unchecked defiance after the government declared a state of emergency.
Bands of red-shirted anti-government protesters roamed areas of Bangkok, with some furiously smashing cars carrying Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his aides and others beating up motorists who hurled insults at them.
"There is a severe, ongoing threat to the safety of visitors, including Israelis, in this region," read the anti-terror office communique. "There is a concern that terrorist organizations will join Muslim rebels in targeting tourists, including Israelis, in south Thailand." The United States is among other countries that have advised their nationals to leave the country.
The announcement comes hours after a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Israel has no plans to evacuate Israeli citizens from Thailand, after the Thai government declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas.
Earlier Sunday, dozens of protestors overran the interior ministry in the nation's capital. Thai television stations reported that Vejjajiva was seen fleeing the building in a car as protestors descended upon the ministry. Witnesses say soldiers did not use force to try to stop the protestors, but did fire warning shots into the air.
All flights departing Ben-Gurion International Airport for Bangkok on Sunday are still scheduled as planned.