Thousands of Israeli Arabs left stranded at Sinai border crossing over weekend
By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
October 4, 2014 21:14
Thousands of Israeli Arabs who were trying to reach the Sinai Peninsula to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha were left stranded on the Israeli side of the Taba border crossing late Friday.
Long lines began forming to get into Sinai at around 3:00 a.m. early Friday morning. The Israel Airports Authority, which planned to close the crossing at 2:00 p.m. in deference to the Yom Kippur holiday, kept the terminal operating an extra hour to accommodate the swelling crowd.
As the line grew, physical altercations ensued, prompting Eilat police to arrive at the scene and restore order.
“The wait was humiliating,” said one of the travelers. “The border personnel were working very slowly, and the children and parents grew more restless. Some of those who came considered going back home.”