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Photo: Eldad Rafaeli
MK Hilou has called for a boycott of Sinai
Photo: Eldad Rafaeli
MK Hilou: Don't go to Sinai
Following difficulties Egyptians made for injured Israeli bus passengers, Labor Knesset member calls to boycott trips to Egyptian peninsula
Knesset Member Nadia Hilou, responding to difficulties encountered by Israeli casualties of a bus accident in Sinai, Egypt, called on Israelis to stay away from the area.

 

"I am calling on all Israelis, Arabs and Jews, to boycott Egypt in protest of the failed treatment and blunders shown by the Egyptian authorities towards those injured and killed," MK Hilou (Labor) said.

 

The overturned bus was packed with travelers – most of them from holidaymakers from northern Israel who hoped to find some respite after a month of war and sitting in bomb shelters.

 

Many of those injured said that the evacuation of the wounded was clumsy, and that the Egyptians made it difficult to transfer injured people to Israel.

 

Members of the Juwamis family, of Beit Zarzir, were taken to the Nuweiba hospital, and returned to Israel furious. "The situation at the hospital is very bad. People don't have water, infusion, there are no sheets on the beds, the bathrooms stink – it all looks simply shocking. People are lying on the floor in the hospital, it's simply unbelievable. The injured told the Egyptians that they want to go to Israel to receive treatment at the hospital there, and the Egyptian's didn't agree," he recounted.

 

Family members added: "On the ground no one helped either, people died on the spot because there wasn't first aid. Foreign tourists from Europe helped us rescue the wounded, it's a disgrace what happened there, with all the injured children around. It hurts to see these scenes. That's the last time we are traveling to Sinai."

 

Difficulties

 

Khusam Omar, an eyewitness to the accident, spoke about the difficulties in evacuating the wounded and the disorder at the scene.


Scene of accident in Sinai (Photo: AP)

 

"We pushed people into trucks, so they take them to the hospital," he said. "Egyptian ambulances only arrived after half an hour."

 

Hilou called for the immediate transfer of injured people and bodies to Israel. "Overnight I spoke with every possible source in order to allow Israeli ambulances to go in and help," she said.

 

She says she also spoke with the hospital and police in Egypt. "I was very angry that the Israeli ambulances had to wait for hours at the border and that Israeli authorities didn't let them in. Many children bled throughout all that time, and by the morning they hardly knew the names of those killed. We can't return to normal after hearing about a mother whose son bled to death for hours. If that's the situation, I would like to ask all potential tourists not to travel, because when a disaster happens I am expecting cooperation and better treatment, a higher level of humanity, and not for all kinds of procedures when human lives are at stake," added Hilou.

 

The Knesset member added that this was not the first time Egyptian management has proved to be a failure: "The movement of tourism to Egypt, especially during this month, and especially to Sharm el-Sheikh, is large, mainly due to Arab Israeli tourists. If this is the treatment, I call on them not to travel. This is not a singular incident. In one of the last terror attacks Arab Israelis from Jaffa were injured and the treatment failed then too."

 

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