Amidst reports of a fall in the number of tourists visiting India, more so due to demonetisation, the news of Israel’s travel advisory issued to its citizens is baffling. Israel’s anti-terrorism directorate issued a travel warning for India on Friday, citing an immediate threat of attack to Western and tourist targets, particularly in the south-west of the country.
“A particular emphasis should be put on events in the coming days in connection with beach and club parties celebrating the New Year where a concentration of tourists will be high,” part of the warning said.
The statement recommended that tourists avoid participation in such parties. It also called on families in Israel to contact their relatives in India and tell them of the threat.
In addition, it recommended avoiding markets, festivals and crowded shopping areas. Unusually, the warning was published on Friday evening in Israel, after the start of the Jewish Sabbath, when government offices close for business.
In 2012, the wife of Israeli diplomat stationed in India, her driver and two others were wounded in a bomb attack on her car. Israel and India share close military ties.
The directorate did not say what prompted the warning. However the warning also assumes significance in the wake of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on Saturday, on the completion of 50 days of hardships that the citizens have endured due to demonetisation.
The sudden Travel advisory, could be exploited by the political parties in India to score points both for and against the demonetisation drive that the country is presently going through.
Inputs from Reuters