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Israel Tells Its Citizens To Avoid Istanbul, Warns Iran Not To Harm Them

PARIS, France - Israel raised its Istanbul travel advisory to the highest level on Monday because of what it said was a threat of Iranian attempts to kill or abduct Israelis vacationing in Turkey.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said a 'huge effort' by Israel's security forces had served 'Israeli lives in recent weeks', and thanked the Turkish government for its contribution.

He did not give further details. An Israeli official told Reuters Turkey had arrested several suspected 'operatives' of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Turkish officials and the Iranian embassy in Ankara did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

'We are calling on Israelis not to fly to Istanbul - and if you don't have a vital reason, don't fly to Turkey. If you are already in Istanbul, return to Israel as soon as possible', Lapid said in a television statement.

'These terrorist threats are aimed at vacationing Israelis. They are selecting, in a random but deliberate manner, Israeli citizens with a view to kidnapping or murdering them', he said.

'I want, from here, to relay a message to the Iranians as well. Whoever harms Israelis will not get away with it. Israel's long arm will get them, no matter where they are'.



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