Pesach in Sinai - Editorial

20 images Created 22 Jun 2019

Despite the terrorist threat, Israelis are becoming more likely to spend their holiday in the Egyptian peninsula, accessible by car.

The minibus rolls south. At the exit of Taba in Egypt, he scorned the few luxurious hotels to continue his way on an arid road, bordered by the brown mountains of Sinai on one side and by the Red Sea on the other. Signs indicate the regular passage of camels. The only vehicles crossed are those of the Egyptian security forces patrolling in both directions and sometimes stop at the security posts, placed every kilometer.

"It's because of Daesh [Arabic acronym of the Islamic State organization], " says Abu Kareem succinctly, the driver. After a sharp turn, the first huts finally appear, aligned at the edge of the turquoise water. Abu Kareem enters a sand track. On arrival, the person in charge, a young Bedouin dressed in a sarouel, his long hair brought back, launches a welcome shalom .

Paradise beaches
After ten years of interruption, between 2004 and 2014, because of a wave of attacks, and despite the persistent presence of terrorist groups active in the north and center of Egyptian Sinai, Israeli tourists are more and more numerous. to stay in its southern part. During the Passover (Jewish Easter) holidays this year, between April 19 and 27, more than 40,000 people crossed the Egyptian border crossing of Taba to reach the heavenly beaches of the south, according to the Israeli Authority of airports, responsible for border crossings: an increase of 35% compared to 2018.

Attendance has a new peak during the summer, despite the suffocating heat. Several decades ago, only the fighters descended to walk the mountains and camp on the shoreline under the stars. Today, families and young people are also involved, attracted by the beauty of the place and the ridiculous prices, all just a few hours drive from Israel. -- Claire Bastier
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