Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Protest in Front of Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv

Picture from the scene of the accident in Sinai

The relatives of victims injured or killed in a bus accident in Sinai last month (August 22) protested in front of the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, September 13. Twelve Israelis were killed when their bus overturned, and more than fifty were injured. The protestors accused the Egyptian government of negligence in its response to the accident. They demanded that Egypt conduct another investigation into its handling of the disaster. The demonstrators expressed dissatisfaction with Egyptian security and rescue forces, and condemned the Egyptian government's refusal to allow Israeli rescue crews to reach the site. They also condemned a recent court verdict which punished the bus driver with only 12 months in prison. Police officers stationed there prevented two protestors from entering the embassy, Ha'aretz reported. All of the victims were Israeli Arab tourists visiting Sinai from Nazareth, Kafr Manda and Kafr Yasif.

The Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv is located at Basel near Even Gvirol, one of the most expensive areas in the city. It is not guarded very heavily actually. The "police officers" stationed there, to whom the Ha'aretz article refers, are a couple of Magavnikim (Border Guard officers), usually looking very bored.

4 comments:

Carmia said...

The brother of my former colleague's friend was killed in this accident...

"Mr.H" said...

whats all that about,it was just accident..why they proteted !!

John said...

The reason for the protest was the refusal of the Egyptian authorities to allow Israeli medical rescue teams to come to the area. The nearest hospital in Nuweiba was completely underequipped and people died because of a lack of basic medical care. One of the Israeli tourists who was in the bus and is also a nurse was later interviewed on Israeli television and said that people were operated on without sterile equipment and that the Egyptians wasted precious time before they evacuated the wounded. Had the Israeli rescue teams been allowed access, the death toll would have been much lower. Some of the family members of the deceased and wounded complained that human lives are worthless in Egypt.

Rebecca said...

I've read very similar complaints about the official Egyptian responses to disasters in Egypt (e.g., ferry accidents) made by Egyptian bloggers.