JERUSALEM Ñ Israel has called on nationals to leave Iraq
Israeli officials said Israelis in Iraq were deemed to be in danger of
abduction and death. They said an undetermined number of Israelis were in
Baghdad as well as in northern Iraq.
On Sunday, the government's Counter-Terrorism Command issued a warning
against Israeli travel to Iraq. In the first such acknowledgement, the unit
also called on Israelis to leave Iraq immediately.
Arab diplomatic sources have asserted that scores of Israelis were
providing services and training to Kurdish militias in northern Iraq. The
sources said Israelis have also been engaged in business ventures with
Kurdish companies and transporting goods to and from Iraq.
The Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot said eight Israeli construction
consultants have been working in Iraq over the last few months. The
newspaper said the consultants -- said to be experts in restoring damaged
structures -- were hired by the United States.
The Israeli presence in northern Iraq was said to have numbered more
than 100 in 2003. But most of the Israelis were said to have left the area
amid the Sunni uprising that spread to Kurdish-dominated cities over the
Israeli officials said Israelis have also been touring northern Iraq
over the last year. In most cases, the Israelis arrived in Iraq from Turkey.