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Ben Gurion Airport Photo: Yaron Brener
Ben Gurion Airport Photo: Yaron Brener

Egyptian officials enraged by airport harassments

Leading Egyptian officials and businessmen announce they will stop visiting Israel due to repeated delays, humiliations at Ben Gurion Airport

Smadar Peri
Published: 08.26.07, 09:30 / Israel News

Leading Egyptian businessmen and officials at the Trade and Industry Ministry in Cairo are threatening to stop their visits to Israel due to what they describe as the harassment and humiliation they are repeatedly subjected to upon entering and leaving the country.


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Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries Galal el-Zorba announced that he planned to discontinue his trips to Israel following the "harassments, delays and humiliations," at the airport, the passport control, and by security guards.


Prominent businessman Alaa Arafa has also decided not to come to Israel anymore, and other businessmen plan to follow suit.


The most recent incident involving Egyptian staff took place last week when four senior Cairo officials in charge of supervising the implementation of the Israel-Egypt trade agreement arrived in Israel for a routine meeting with their Israeli counterparts.


In light of the unpleasant experiences in the past, Israeli representatives of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and Customs awaited the Egyptian delegate at the airport.


However, despite the fact that the four officials were carrying visas issued at the Israeli embassy in Egypt, their passports were taken from them at the passport control point, and they were delayed for two hours, without being given an explanation for the hold up.


According to Israeli businessman Danny Roshin, who spoke with the Egyptian officials, "All the preparations that were made beforehand in order to prevent the disgrace failed. The Israeli officials were deeply ashamed."


Egyptian businessmen have already warned that the treatment they were being subjected to at the airport might harm trade relations between Israel and Egypt.


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