Israel urges citizens to leave Egypt's Sinai, citing IS threat

The advisory was issued ahead of the Passover holiday, when thousands of Israelis cross the land border with Egypt.

A view of Egypt's Nile River. Picture: Sheldon Morais/EWN.

ISRAEL – Israel on Monday urged citizens vacationing in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to leave immediately, saying the threat of attacks inspired by Islamic State and other jihadi groups was high.

The advisory was issued ahead of the Passover holiday, when thousands of Israelis cross the land border with Egypt to visit resorts and beaches on the Sinai's Red Sea coast.

Israel's Anti-Terrorism Directorate said its "Level 1" alert related to a "very high concrete threat".

"Islamic State and those inspired by it are at the forefront of global jihadi groups that are highly motivated to carry out attacks during this period," the directorate wrote.

"All Israelis currently in the Sinai should return and ... (we) also strongly advise that those wanting to travel to Sinai should not do so."

An Islamist insurgency in the rugged, thinly populated Sinai has gained pace since Egypt's military toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.