The Turkish media last week published new details about the Iranian assassination attempts of Israelis on Turkish soil.
The target of the Iranian cell, whose members were arrested by Turkish police, was Yossi Levi-Sfari, who previously served as Israel’s consul-general in Istanbul.
Several of the Iranian terrorists were staying in two rooms in the Soul Hotel in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, the same hotel as Levi-Sfari, who was there on a private vacation. The Iranians planned to kidnap and murder him and then kidnap other Israeli tourists.
“The former Israeli consul, who was unaware of the Iranians’ presence at the hotel, was rescued in an operation that was just like the movies and sent back to Israel,” the Turkish reports stated.
According to the reports, members of the Iranian squad were under surveillance by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) from the moment they entered the country and were eventually caught “red-handed” at the last moment, with their weapons in their hands.
The reports added that seven out of the eight Iranian cell members who were arrested were brought to a court in Istanbul on Thursday to have their remands extended.
Levi-Sefri’s term as consul in Istanbul ended in 2018 when he was expelled from the country by Turkish authorities due to “violent incidents along the border fence by the Israel/Gaza border.”
Following the wave of arrests of Iranian nationals by Turkish intelligence agents, Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) lowered the travel warning level to Istanbul from the highest level, 4, to a medium threat level, 3 – to postpone all non-essential travel to Turkey, with no remaining specific warning for the city of Istanbul.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)