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Israel issues travel warning for Eurovision's Swedish host city

 

Israel's war on Gaza has killed at least 34,596 and wounded more than 77,000 people -- mostly women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry, with the mounting civilian death toll leading to a surge in anti-Israel sentiment around the world.

The international rebuke comes as Israel's siege of Gaza has pushed more than half of the population to the  brink of famine, with people in north Gaza already living under "famine-like conditions."

Citing "anti-Israel protests" and "calls to harm Jews and Israelis", the advisory shared concerns "that terrorist factions will take advantage of the demonstrations and the anti-Israel atmosphere to execute attacks on Israelis coming to Sweden for the Eurovision".

The country's National Security Council advised Israelis planning to travel to Sweden's third-largest city during the contest from May 7 to 11 to reconsider their plans.

The security council raised the travel alert for Malmo from level 2 (potential threat) to level 3 (moderate threat) without changing alert levels for the rest of Sweden.

The security council also advised those who did wish to travel to download the Israeli army's Home Front Command application to receive real-time announcements in case of an emergency there.

The application is usually used to send notifications in case of rocket attacks in Israel.

The city of Malmo on Wednesday promised heightened security for this year's contest, where at least half a dozen applications have been filed for demonstration permits to protest the Israeli presence at the competition.

Malmo is home to over 360,000 inhabitants spanning 186 nationalities, including a large portion of the country's Palestinian-origin population.

Critics have called for Israel to be banned from competing, as the Israeli onslaught on Gaza nears seven months.

But the European Broadcasting Union allowed Eden Golan to represent Israel with her song "Hurricane", a rewritten version of another song that was considered too political for its references to the events on October 7.

Israeli media reported that Shin Bet, the country's internal security service, advised the 20-year-old Russian-Israeli to stay confined to her room for the duration of her stay in Malmo.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.