Thousands of Palestinian Israelis spend Eid holiday in Sinai

Ahram Online, Tuesday 21 Aug 2012

Recent terrorist attack and government warnings fail to deter thousands of predominantly muslim Palestinian Israelis from visiting Egypt's Red Sea coast during the feast vacation that started earlier this week

Sinai tourism
Photo file: A tourist walks at a Red Sea resort in Sharm el-Sheikh (Photo: Reuters)

More than ten thousand Israelis have crossed into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula over the past two days, Yitzhak Hai, director of the Taba crossing, told Israeli television on Tuesday, Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Most of the visitors are Israeli-Arabs celebrating the Islamic festival of Eid, he said.

The high number of visitors comes despite Israel warning its citizens not to visit Egypt. Israel had been warning its citizens of potential terrorist attacks in Sinai even before the 5 August assault which killed 16 Egyptian border guards.

Unknown assailants attacked the border guards and stole their tanks in an attempt to attack the Israeli border. The assailants are believed to have entered Egypt from the Hamas-run Gaza strip.   

Egypt blamed the attack on ‘Islamic militants’ and has launched joint army-police raids against their alleged hideouts, made arrests and seized weapons.

In accordance with the Camp David treaty Israelis can enter to certain areas in Sinai without a visa. Resorts dotted along Sinai’s Red Sea coast are a popular holiday destination for Israelis seeking a relatively cheap break, and tourism in the area heavily depends on their visits.


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