Two Israeli youth workers killed and 5 injured in car crash in Sinai

Two young Israelis were killed and another five injured in a road accident in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, just before the border with Israel.

The seven, who were all counselors at a boarding school in Jerusalem according to Hebrew media reports, were returning from a beach vacation and just minutes from the border when the minibus that took them crashed into a second vehicle.

The victims were identified as Yuval Keshet, 24, of Haifa, and Moshe Matan Luzon, 25, of Petah Tikva.

“A terrible tragedy has befallen us,” Boyer Boarding School staff wrote in a message to students and parents. “We have lost our loved ones.”

The State Department initially said two of the seven are in critical condition. They were later pronounced dead in Egypt. The five injured were first taken to a local medical clinic before being taken to the border and then to Yoseftal Medical Center in Eilat.

Helicopters of the Israel Defense Forces were initially sent to help transport the wounded to hospitals in Israel. According to Hebrew media reports, Cairo would not allow the helicopters to land in Egypt, delaying the Israelis’ return by several hours.

Moshe Matan Luzon, left, and Yuval Keshet. (social media)

They were instead taken to the border crossing and handed over. Channel 12 reported that the Egyptians initially authorized the helicopters to land in Egypt, but then reversed the decision.

The accident took place in the Nuweiba region of Sinai, a 20-minute drive from the border crossing with Israel.

The father of one of the injured Israelis told Kan News that he managed to speak to his daughter and that she told him that the group was on their way to the Taba border crossing with Israel when the accident happened, and that she blamed the driver given.

“The driver was driving at an insane speed, overtaking” [another vehicle]and crashed into an oncoming car,” he told Kan, citing his daughter.

He spoke of his relief that she had survived. “I got my daughter as a present,” he said.

In 2006, 12 Israelis were killed and many others injured in a road accident in Sinai. Some families of the victims claimed it was a terror attack and that the driver deliberately crashed the vehicle.

Earlier this month, 23 people were killed when a passenger bus collided with a parked truck and trailer on a highway in southern Egypt.

Road accidents kill thousands every year in Egypt, which has a poor record of transport safety. Accidents are usually caused by speeding, careless driving, bad roads or poor enforcement of traffic rules.

In January, at least 16 people were killed and 18 others injured when a minibus collided with a public transport bus in the Sinai Peninsula. In April last year, a bus overturned while trying to overtake a truck on a highway in southern Assiut province, killing at least 21 people and injuring three others.

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