Shoshana Meizel, 63, of Gedera, was killed Friday morning when her jeep
overturned during an off-road accident in an isolated corner of the Himalayas in
northern India during an all-women’s outdoor adventure journey.
Israeli women traveling with Meizel were lightly to moderately hurt in the
accident and were evacuated to a local hospital, and subsequently to a hospital
in Mumbai. The cause of the accident still has not been determined.
Foreign Ministry and the embassy in New Delhi have set up a situation room to
deal with the accident and are arranging the return of Meizel’s body to
According to the company that runs the Desert Queen adventure,
the women are located in an area whose remoteness has complicated rescue
On the Desert Queen Facebook page on Saturday, the company said
“a serious disaster has happened – during the Desert Queen journey to the upper
Himalayas a jeep overturned, and as a result three women out of the four in the
vehicle were hurt.” The post added that the three other woman were lightly to
moderately injured and the company was doing everything it could to treat the
In later posts the company added that the Geographic Society and
Desert Queen staff were “doing everything we can to assist the family of
Shoshana Meizel, those who were injured, those taking part in the trip and their
It said the participants were located in an area without
cellular reception and messages could not be received, although it had set up a
situation room at the scene.
Meizel was taking part in the 15th-annual
Desert Queen outdoor adventure trip.
According to Desert Queen, the trip
is for Israeli women from different backgrounds and is meant to give them an
eye-opening adventure experience traveling to areas “far off the tourist
The trips were launched by Israel’s Geographic Society in 1999,
with the first group traveling from Israel to Jordan, which the company says had
a special emphasis on peace.
Each year the trip hits a different far-off
trail. This year it is exploring “the slopes of the Indian Himalayas, the land
of the gods, the holy rivers and the mountain peaks of pilgrim dreams,” the
company website says, before describing a journey that runs from green mountain
slopes to the Tibetan plateau, visiting distant mountain temples and taking in
the local culture of the Himalayas.
According to the website, the trips
were the first and remain the largest all-female off-road adventures. It adds
that they are open “to any woman who believes in herself and knows that she can
deal with physical and mental challenges.”
Last month, an Israeli
backpacker was killed in a rockslide near the northern Indian city of
Dharamsala. The woman was hit by a rock and died before rescue services
Some 40,000 to 50,000 Israelis travel to India each year.