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Israel marks Turkey as ‘unsafe’ following Saturday bombing

Israel took the decision after three of its citizens were killed and 11 wounded in a suicide bombing in Istanbul on Saturday.

world Updated: Mar 21, 2016 13:16 IST
Suicide attack in Istanbul,Turkey,Israel
Soldiers carry on March 20, 2016 the coffin of an Israeli, who was killed in an Istanbul suicide bombing the previous day, upon it's arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.(AFP)

Israel’s counter terrorism bureau has raised the alert level on Turkey stressing that the country is “unsafe” for its citizens after three of them were killed and 11 wounded in a suicide bombing in Istanbul on Saturday.

The Prime Minister’s Office, with which the the bureau is attached, in a statement said it has decided to “upgrade existing travel warning and recommend that the public avoid visiting Turkey”.

Amid a spate of attacks by the Islamic State groups and Kurdish separatists, and especially the Saturday bombing, “it was decided to update the existing travel warning vis-a-vis Turkey from an ongoing potential threat to a basic concrete threat,” the statement said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his reaction said Israel was in the front line of a global war on terror, adding that those who failed to condemn terrorist attacks were in effect supporting them.

“There could be no justification for terrorism,” Netanyahu said.

“Israel is at the forefront of the fight against international terrorism.

“This fight is primarily military, but no less than that, it is moral,” the Israeli Premier said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday.

“The key point of the moral struggle against terrorism is clear — terrorism, the murder of innocent people, has no justification anywhere – not in Istanbul, not in the Ivory Coast and not in Jerusalem.

“Those who do not condemn terrorism support terrorism,” he emphasised.

The bodies of the three Israelis killed in Saturday’s suicide bombing in Istanbul, along with several wounded, arrived in Israel on an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) airplane.

The Israeli victims of the terror attack were identified as Yonathan Suher, 40, Simha Dimri, 60, and Avraham Goldman, 69.

Suher and Goldman were also named as United States citizens by the State Department.

Turkey named the alleged perpetrator ofthe attack as Mehmet Öztürk, a suspected Islamic State member.

First Published: Mar 21, 2016 13:16 IST