Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Death and destruction

In Israel more people are being killed these days by organized crime than by terrorism. I am not sure this is something we should be proud of. Recently there have been a spate of car bombings and shootings that indicate a crime war is underway. At least 5 people have been murdered by bombs put in their cars in several cities and two were shot dead at point blank range in their car on the main road along the beach in Tel Aviv in broad daylight while hundreds of people walked and sunbathed nearby. Fortunately no one else was hurt, but clearly they have little concern for civilians, then the two assailants simply walked away. The special police branch dealing with serious crime is on the case and PM Netanyahu even mentioned it in his Cabinet meeting. But there is little prospect of ending this crime war any time soon.

Yesterday a tourist bus was blown up at the Taba crossing from Egypt to Israel just before it crossed the border from Egypt. It was carrying South Koran Christian tourists and four of them were killed and others severely injured. The Egyptian authorities preferred to transport the injured 3.5 hours south to Sharm el Sheikh hospital rather than across the border to the Eilat hospital that was ca. 15 mins away. Magen David Adom mobilized ambulances and emergency services, but they were not used. If I were an injured S. Korean tourist I would sue the Egyptian government for negligence. Egypt depends on tourism and this was a deliberate attack by Islamist terorrists in order to bring ruin on their own country. I would not visit Egypt as a tourist, and even though there are criminal elements in Israel, so far no tourists have been killed.

In the Old Town of Akko (Acre) a gas explosion caused the deaths of five people and the destruction of a three storey building. A similar explosion took place two weeks ago in theJerusalem suburb of Gilo, where a strong smell of gas was investigated twice by a technician, but whatever he did was not sufficient and there was an explosion that caused a building to collapse and killed a family of three. He is under arrest. Such incidents are all too common in Israel.

Finally, two children in a family of five were killed and the rest of the family was very ill after a technician used the toxic substance phosphine to fumigate their home against pests and then left the material in their apartment after it was supposedly safe for them to return. The technician is now under arrest and no longer allowed to practise his trade. All these apparently random deaths, as well as the many traffic deaths in Israel, amount to a tremendously wasteful loss of life in the Jewish State.


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