Iranian terror cells looking to target Israelis in Turkey - Israeli security officials

Israeli security officials are concerned about Iranian terror cells "looking for Israelis" in Istanbul after being given an order to carry out attacks in Turkey, the Jerusalem Post reported on Friday, citing a senior Israeli defence establishment official.

Israelis have been warned to return home from vacations in Turkey and lock their hotel rooms and not allow any strangers in, including hotel housekeeping, it cited the official as telling Ynet.

Last month, Israel issued an updated travel warning to Turkey, citing security concerns over a possible Iranian response to the assassination of a senior officer in the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the Times of Israel reported.

Israel’s National Security Council “sharpened” the travel warning to Turkey and other nations bordering Iran, highlighting that the countries “a high level of risk to Israelis,” following the killing of Colonel Hassan Sayyad-Khodayari, a member of Iran’s Quds Force of the Guards in southern Tehran last month.

The Israel Defence Forces bolstered the country’s air defences over concerns Iran could launch an attack in response to the assassination. Iran has blamed Israel for the death of the Revolutionary Guards officer, a claim Israel has denied. 

The threat to the lives of Israeli tourists in Turkey is now an "ongoing incident," the official said.

Earlier this week, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called on Israelis to avoid Istanbul earlier following the publication of reports that Israel and Turkey thwarted an Iranian terrorist attack in the city last month.

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