Israel calls on its citizens to leave Egypt, and the American embassy in Cairo issues a warning to Americans traveling through that country.
I have been following Vijeta Uniyal’s exceptional coverage of the Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent Israeli response closely all weekend.
Unfortunately, one Egyptian Hamas supporter decided to bring some of that hate and violence to the Land of the Nile, slaughtering two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian tour guide at the iconic Pompey’s Pillars in Alexandria.
An Egyptian policeman opened fire Sunday on Israeli tourists in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killing at least two Israelis and one Egyptian, Israeli and Egyptian authorities said.
A statement from Egypt’s Interior Ministry said that another person was wounded in the attack at the Pompey’s Pillar site in Alexandria. It provided no further details.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry identified the wounded person as an Israeli who suffered moderate injuries. The ministry said in a statement that Israeli authorities were working with the Egyptian government to bring the Israelis home.
Extra News television channel, which has close ties to Egyptian security agencies, reported that the suspected assailant was detained. The dead Egyptian was a tour guide, according to media outlets.
Subsequently, Israel’s National Security Council urges Israelis in Sinai and Egypt to leave the country as soon as possible. Additionally, the council also wants Israelis to refrain from traveling to Middle Eastern countries and other nations with travel warnings.
Americans are also advised to be cautious in their travels within Egypt.
In a message to Americans in Egypt, the U.S. embassy in Cairo urged them to take precautions as the attack could be related to the clashes between Israel and Palestinian militants.
Message to U.S. citizens: The Embassy is aware of reports of multiple foreign tourists killed in an attack in Alexandria, Egypt today, Oct 8, 2023. This incident may be related to ongoing hostilities in Gaza and Israel. U.S. citizens in Egypt should exercise increased security…
— U.S. Embassy Cairo (@USEmbassyCairo) October 8, 2023
Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel in the 1970s and has long served as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But anti-Israeli sentiment runs high in the country, especially during bouts of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
This incident is a non-trivial matter that Egyptians must address. Those who follow Egypt closely, especially people like myself who love its ancient history, recall the attack in the fall of 1997 at one of the premier tourist destinations along the Nile: The Temple of Hatshepsut.
The massacre last November 17 of 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians at the Temple of Hatshepsut, one of the great archaeological attractions of Egypt, captured the world’s attention because of the number of victims, the horrific accounts of the survivors, and the savagery of the assailants.
Eyewitnesses described how most of the victims, trapped on the raised terrace of the temple complex’s middle courtyard, were killed by six men armed with knives and automatic weapons. Many of the tourists who tried to hide in the colonnades at the rear of the courtyard were hunted down and slain.
The victims included 35 Swiss and a foreign resident of Switzerland; nine Japanese, including four couples on their honeymoons; six Britons, including a young mother and her baby; four Germans, a Bulgarian, a Colombian, and a Frenchman.
Egyptian tourism is just beginning to recover from the pandemic.
Egypt’s tourism sector has witnessed a remarkable upswing, with revenues reaching an impressive $13.6 billion in FY2022/2023, reflecting a substantial increase of 26.8 percent compared to the previous fiscal year’s figure of $10.7 billion, according to the report released by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Wednesday.
Egypt is aiming at reaching 30 million visitors by 2028, as its once-thriving tourism sector recovers from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and the grinding war in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ahmed Issa said Tuesday.
“We’re seeing unparalleled demand, unprecedented demand for travel into Egypt,” Issa said in an interview.
He said Egypt had received 10 million tourists in the first eight months of 2023, and was “well on track to achieve around 15 million this year, which is going to be a record year for the tourism industry.”
I plan to be one of them sometime in the spring of 2025. However, I and many others are likely to rethink travel plans if Egypt fails to offer protections from religion-based terrorists.DONATE
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