(photo credit: Polscience)
One Israeli woman was killed and 13 were injured on Sunday in a head-on-collision involving their minibus and
a truck in northern Georgia, about 250 kilometers north of the capital
RELATED:Two post-army trekkers killed in Bolvia car crash
The woman was identified as Behira Nuama, 58, from Kiryat Ata.
She was traveling with her husband, Menashe, and six other couples from Israel
in the minibus and an Israeli guide.
Nuama died at the scene of the
accident near the city of Kutaisi and will be buried in Israel on
The middle-aged couples are all close friends from Haifa’s
bayside suburbs, and have traveled together abroad on numerous
Seven of the injured Israeli tourists were expected to arrive
back in Israel for medical treatment on Sunday evening on a special plane
arranged by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, with the others – whose
medical conditions were better – expected to follow the next day.
the injured were in serious condition, seven suffered moderate injuries, and the
rest suffered light injuries.
The embassy in Tbilisi was in touch with
Georgian emergency teams during the day, and the Foreign Ministry was in contact
with the tourists’ families in Israel.
Georgian Ambassador to Israel
Vakhtang Jaoshvili said that he was notified of the crash early on Sunday
morning and immediately “was in contact with all of the relevant people in
Georgia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel.”
said the emergency treatment undertaken in Georgia was “quick and professional,”
the victims were evacuated to hospitals almost immediately and that
collaboration and lines of communication between Israeli and Georgian officials
Jaoshvili said that Saakashvili’s decision to cover all
of the expenses for the Israelis’ treatment in Georgia and their emergency
flight to Israel was an out-of-the-ordinary sort of gesture that was taken
“absolutely because of the special relationship between Georgia and
The ambassador said as far as he knows, none of the Israeli
victims is of Georgian descent.
When asked if such accidents are common
in Georgia and if road touring is a safe option for Israeli travelers, he said,
“Unfortunately, such accidents can happen in any country.”
He added that
Georgia “is known as a safe place for Israeli tourists. The Jews have been
living in Georgia for 26 centuries and there has never been an incident between
the Jewish people and the Georgians.”