Israelis subject to terrorism abroad

Hundreds attend the funeral of 19-year old Layan Zaher Nasser in her hometown of Tira, central Israel. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

While terrorist attacks in Jerusalem have dropped 40 percent since the wave of deadly stabbing attacks by Palestinians that began in November 2015, Israel’s citizens remain vulnerable to terrorism not only at home, but perhaps more so abroad.

In the early hours of 2017, Layan Nasser, a young Arab Israeli woman, was the latest Israeli fatality outside of the country. Nasser had traveled to Istanbul with friends and was among 39 people killed by a gunman shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he indiscriminately shot at New Year’s Eve revelers in and around the Reina night club.

This death follows the killings of three Israelis who were among the four people murdered in a shopping area of Istanbul by a suicide bomber in March last year. Another Israeli killed in a terror attack abroad, Dalia Elyakim, was murdered with 11 others when a driver plowed a stolen truck into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin last month.

Tragically, Israeli media reports that 18-year-old Nasser’s father had warned her not to celebrate the New Year in Turkey because it was not safe.

Despite the volatile security situation there, the secular Muslim nation has continued to be a popular holiday destination for Israel’s citizens. The Jewish Press.Com reports that Israelis flocked to Turkish resorts for Rosh Hashanah last year, despite warnings from counter-terrorism officials not to travel there. Reportedly, Israeli searches for hotels in Turkish coastal cities rose by 40 percent, with searches for holidays in Istanbul rising by 30 percent compared to 2015.

“Israeli tourists by now have figured that every place is dangerous, which is why economic considerations overcome security concerns, and the average Israeli is not quick to panic about a flight to a country about which there have been warnings,” HotelsCombined CEO Eyal Segal told the Jewish Press.