The governor of South Sinai, Major General Khaled Foada, said Saturday that Israel's warning to its citizens not to travel to Sinai "are mere rumors that Israel launch from time to time, especially as tourism in Sharm el-Sheikh recovers."
He said the hotel occupancy rate in Sharm el-Sheikh has reached 100 percent for the first time since the revolution.
Tourism expert Adel Shokry said such rumors no longer affect tourism.
Tarek Fahmy, head of the Israel section for the National Center for Middle Eastern Studies, said Israel makes such warnings "based on the [possibility of] Egyptian institutions being bombed, as immediately before the Dahab bombings."
"Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces Benny Gantz's statements on the existence of a new terrorist organization in Sinai, which he did not name, that aims to link [between Egypt] and the Gaza Strip geographically and geostrategically are dangerous. Gantz also held the group responsible for launching grad rockets on Eilat on 5 April," Fahmy said.
He also pointed to an Israeli anti-terrorism agency newsletter emphasizing that terrorist organizations "target Israeli tourists in Sinai to kidnap and swap with Palestinians so as to repeat the experience of Gilad Shalit." Gantz apparently suggested that these organizations might be affiliated with the Salah Eddin Brigades.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-YoumTags: South Sinai, National Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Israel Defense Forces Benny Gantz, Major General Khaled Foada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Israel section, travel warnings