Horrific bombings in Egypt

10.08.04

Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in a Sinai resort have left at least 30 dead, including 14 Israelis and hundreds more wounded:

Two car bombs exploded at the entrance to the Hilton Taba Hotel and a suicide bomber blew up at the hotel’s beach front, an area designated for children maritime activities.

According to Israel Police estimations the cars contained no less than 100 Kg of explosives. One of the cars’ engine was found in the ruined lobby of the hotel.

Almost simultaneously, a combined bomb and shooting attack took place in two restaurants usually frequented by Israelis in Ras Al-Satan. Two Israelis were killed in this attack.

Hours later, details are still emerging, because the Egyptian authorities are being somewhat less than forthcoming.

The sad thing is, there is likely a large portion of the Egyptian population that doesn’t care how many of their own compatriots were killed, but instead is rejoicing that at least some Israelis are among the dead. IsraelInsider reports big celebrations in Gaza (via LGF).

Some Israeli bloggers, like Allison and Imshin expressed a bit of surprise that so many Israelis had ignored persistent warnings not to travel to the Egyptian side of Sinai. But these warnings had been going on for so long without incident, probably most people felt that it was at least as safe as going to a crowded Tel Aviv café, if not more so. After all, Israel has a peace treaty with Egypt. Why shouldn’t Israelis head there on holiday?

Well, now we know why. Oddly enough, when I was in Israel in July, a group of people I was travelling with tried to persuade me to go with them to Eilat for a couple of days, and to head to Egypt for a day or so. I had alternate plans so I didn’t go with them, but even then, despite everyone telling me it was perfectly safe – and even despite my Canadian passport and citizenship – the idea made me uneasy. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s the sense that if something were to go wrong (as it can anywhere), I’d sooner be in a country with a friendly government as opposed to one with a hostile one. (And despite the frosty peace between Israel and Egypt, I don’t think anyone can call the Egyptian government – whose state-sponsored television spews antisemitism on a daily basis – friendly).

Yes, it can happen anywhere. And it’s horrible that so many people are dead, of all nationalities. But this attack was designed to single out Israelis. Unfortunately, it succeeded all too well.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: