Foreign Ministry to Israelis: Have fun abroad, keep your bullets at home

Dalia Hadad returned to Israel more than three weeks after being detained in Azerbaijan for entering that country with bullets in her luggage.

By
March 18, 2018 17:53
2 minute read.
Foreign Ministry to Israelis: Have fun abroad, keep your bullets at home

Bullets [file]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

When traveling abroad, keep those bullets at home, the Foreign Ministry advised Israelis on Sunday, after Dalia Hadad returned to Israel more than three weeks after being detained in Azerbaijan for entering that country with bullets in her luggage.

Hadad, from Beersheba, acknowledged in an interview with Kan Bet that she was fortunate her destination was Azerbaijan. Instead of having to wait in a jail cell as the episode unfolded, she was free to come and go as she wished, with the exception that she could not leave the country.

“I was lucky that this happened to me in Azerbaijan,” she said, adding that though the ordeal was laced with a great deal of uncertainty, she met “a lot of good people,” both Israelis and local residents who helped her through it.

Hadad said that the five M16 bullets found in her luggage when she arrived at Baku’s airport belonged to her daughter, who used the bag when she was in basic training in the IDF.

Hadad said she was treated well by the Azerbaijani authorities. She had gone to Baku for a weekend but ended up having to stay for 23 days.

In previous cases, in countries such as Egypt, India, and Thailand, the authorities have not been as forgiving for this type of infraction, and Israelis caught with bullets in their luggage have sat in jail.

 Last year, 19 Israelis were detained abroad under similar circumstances. Many of these cases involved former soldiers who unwittingly traveled abroad with bags they used in the army that had loose bullets in them from their IDF issued weapons.

In recent days, another Israeli, Elli Avraham, was finally allowed to leave Azerbaijan after being detained for over two months for accidentally having five bullets from his personal weapon in one of this bags.

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement welcoming the return of the two Israelis and saying their release was made possible thanks to the efforts of the Israel Embassy in Baku and the authorities in Azerbaijan, a country with which the ministry said Israel has “special relations.”

“It was this good relationship that allowed the citizens to stay freely in Azerbaijan until the completion of their proceedings, despite the fact that carrying bullets is a criminal offense under local law,” the statement said. Both were fined.

The statement emphasized that taking any type of weaponry into a foreign country – even if done unwittingly – is prohibited and could result in detention and criminal proceedings.

“The Foreign Ministry reiterates the importance of every traveler checking their bags carefully before going abroad,” the statement read.


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