Israel has issued severe travel warnings for India, citing an ‘immediate and severe’ risk to Western tourists.
India has been the scene of several attacks by Muslim terrorists over the years, including bomb attacks in Mumbai in 1993 and a gun and bomb attack in the same city in 2008 killed 164 people.
Israel’s anti-terrorism directorate today said: ‘We are warning Israeli tourists in India of the possibility of imminent terrorist attacks against western targets and tourists, particularly in the southwest of that country.’
‘A particular emphasis should be put on events in the coming days in connection with best beach in goa for nightlife and club parties celebrating the New Year where a concentration of tourists will be high,’ the warning said.
It said it was raising the alert level in response to a ‘concrete basic threat’.
Goa (pictured) is a popular destination for Western tourists and there will be many beach parties and nightclub events to celebrate New Year’s Eve tomorrow
The Israeli warning referred specifically to the south west of India, which could include Goa (pictured)
The warning is believed to include Goa, which is a popular magnet for foreigners.
Other popular tourist hotspots in India include the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Red Fort in Delhi.
But in recent years the state of Kerala, in south-west India, has also become a popular tourist destination and the main city, Cochin, has a vibrant nightlife.
India is a popular destination for young Israelis, especially after they have finished their obligatory military service.
The warning by the Israelis specifically referred to south-western India, which would include Goa and Kerala
Israel called on families to contact their relatives in India and tell them of the threat.
It also recommended avoiding markets, festivals and crowded shopping areas.
The warning was also unusual in that it was published on Friday evening, after the start of the Jewish Sabbath, after government offices had closed.
The directorate did not say what prompted the warning.
In 2012 the wife of an Israeli diplomat stationed in India, her driver and two others were wounded in a bomb attack on her car.
Israel and India share close military ties.
Earlier this week Pakistan’s Defence Minister threatened Israel with its nuclear weapons after he responded to a fake news story.
In 2012 a suicide bomber (pictured, right) blew himself up at Burgas airport in Bulgaria, killing six Israeli tourists who were getting on a coach (left)
Israel is a perennial target for Islamist extremists but it has been in the headlines again recently.
A UN Security Council resolution called for an end to Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank and outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry made a strongly-worded personal attack on Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government, accusing them of wanting to abandon the peace process with the Palestinians.
Israeli tourists have been targeted by terrorists several times in recent years.
In 2012 a suicide bomber killed six Israeli tourists when he blew himself up next to their coach after they arrived in Burgas, Bulgaria from Tel Aviv.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) visited the Taj Mahal in April.
It is one of many tourist hotspots in India, where foreign holidaymakers are vulnerable to attack
Ten years earlier terrorists killed 13 at an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, and also fired a surface-to-air missile at a charter aircraft which was taking off from the nearby airport taking Israeli tourists home.
Jihadist terrorists have occasionally targeted nightclubs and places where Western tourists hang out.
The worst attack was in 2002 when 202 people, including 88 Australians and 27 Britons, were killed in a bombing at Paddy’s Pub in Bali, carried out by a local Indonesian group.
In June this year a ‘lone wolf’, Omar Mateen, gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, before being shot dead.
Mateen, who was born in New York, pledged allegiance to ISIS but appeared to have internal conflicts over his own sexuality and bore a personal grudge against local Latino homosexuals.