The Israeli government shut down its border crossing with Egypt Monday in response to a threat of a terrorist attack.
Israeli authorities closed the border due to warnings of an “imminent” attack against tourists at Red Sea resorts in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Thousands of Israeli citizens were expected to travel to Sinai during Passover.
Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz warned of a potential “terror attack” against tourists in Sinai in a statement Monday.
Israel’s border closure comes one day after attacks on two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt Sunday left 36 people dead. A rocket attack originating in Sinai exploded inside Israel just hours after the border closure. No injuries were reported. (RELATED: Dozens of Christians Killed And Wounded In Egyptian Church Attacks)
The closure will continue until April 18, and only affects Israeli citizens. Foreigners will be allowed to cross and Israeli citizens already in Egypt will be allowed to return. Israel’s counter-terrorism bureau issued a warning to travelers heading to Sinai last month.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent “condolences to the families of those who were murdered in yesterday’s terrorists attacks in Egypt” in a statement Monday. He wished “a quick and full recovery” to the wounded.
Israeli authorities warned of “increased activity by Islamic State militants” in Sinai. The peninsula has been a major haven for ISIS, presenting a threat to both the Egyptian and Israeli governments. Authorities added that there is increased “motivation to carry out terror attacks in different arenas at this time” due to ISIS’s territorial losses in Iraq and Syria.