police reported Friday that an Israeli
tourist and a Norwegian tourist were abducted in the Sinai Peninsula
by armed Bedouins.
The Foreign Ministry is investigating the report.
According to information received from Egyptian police, the Bedouin attackers stopped the tourists' vehicle when they were travelling between one resort and another, and got in to the vehicle while threatening the tourists at gunpoint.
According to reports, the Israeli citizen kidnapped by armed Bedouins in the Sinai Peninsula together with a Norwegian tourist is a 23-year-old Arab resident of Nazareth. Nevertheless, it is still unclear whether the incident is indeed a kidnapping.
The Egyptian newspaper Al Shuruq reported a senior security official said that two tourists were kidnapped while driving from Taba to Dahab in the southern Sinai Peninsula. Their driver notified the police of the kidnapping and said the tourists were an Arab-Israeli man and a Belgian woman.
Egyptian security agencies are contacting the kidnappers to try to secure the pair's release, sources said.
It did not appear that the Israeli had been targeted because of his nationality, two Israeli officials in Jerusalem said.
"Our initial assessment is that this was criminally motivated," one of them said.
Bedouin kidnappers have captured tourists in the past to push for the release of fellow tribesmen from jail. Earlier this month kidnappers briefly seized the country boss of US oil major ExxonMobil and his wife.
Ahead of the Passover
holiday the Counter Terrorism Bureau's issued a travel advisory with a serious warning for the Sinai Peninsula, where there is a high risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings.
Earlier this month gunmen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula kidnapped two British
tourists on their way to a beach resort. They were later released.
Last week Egyptian security forces arrested an Israeli citizen who they claim infiltrated Taba from Eilat
via the border. The Palestinian Maan news agency reported Sunday that the man is a resident of Tel Aviv who was not in possession of a passport or any identification.
During the investigation, the man admitted that he was trying to reach the gravesite of Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira in the Egyptian city of Damanhur and that he intended to immigrate to Morocco.
He was later transferred to the Egyptian prosecutor's office for questioning.
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