Eilat is the most southern city in Israel bordering Egypt, with the notorious Palestinian ‘Gaza strip’ right next door. Sadly this week the Islamic maniacs from Gaza have penetrated the Israeli city of Eilat and one of their suicide bombers was able to blow himself up in a café killing himself and 3 Jewish Eilat residents. This is the first suicide attack to hit Eilat and the first attack in Israel for 9 months. We hope and pray that this is not the start of a suicide bombing campaign from the Palestinian Muslim factions within Gaza and the West Bank aimed at killing Jews and destroying Israel’s tourist industry. Eilat is a beautiful seaside town that is popular with foreign tourists and Israeli holidaymakers so it is obvious the Palestinians reasoning for hitting Eilat before the start of the summer holiday season.
I was in Eilat two weeks ago due to having to leave Jerusalem for my safety, I decided on Eilat because it was recommended to me by several Jewish friends as being a nice area to visit due to the desert and mountains you go through to get there and also the weather being a lot nicer down there compared to rain and snow in Jerusalem. I stayed in Eilat for 4 days then traveled straight through to Tel Aviv where I stayed in the ‘Old Jaffa’ part of the city before my flight back to England.
Hearing of this ‘suicide attack’ in Eilat has made me look back at my experience and helped me to understand something that I experienced that I was questioning on my journey back from there on the bus to Tel Aviv.
The bus back from Eilat to Tel Aviv was completely full with Jews and to my amazement there was a Palestinian on the bus with us all. This guy was definitely a Palestinian; I have spoken to an Israeli friend who has commented that this person was probably an Israeli Arab. I watched this guy the whole of the journey because I was intrigued about him because he was so out of place and clearly a Palestinian and not an Israeli Arab. I was watching wondering how he blatantly traveled on the bus full of Jews through Israel. It stood out to me because in my mind true Palestinians, not Israeli Arabs do not like Jews and vice-a-versa yet here I was traveling on this bus full of Jews with a blatant Palestinian on-board. This whole scenario was what intrigued me and made me question what this Palestinians reason was for being on the bus, traveling into Israel with all these Jewish people.
Security is paramount when traveling in Israel due to the Palestinian ‘suicidal maniacs’ who enjoy killing themselves killing Jews so it is always wise to know your surroundings and who is in them, this is why this guy stood out like a sore thumb. He was well dressed with a Western style; very big with an intimidating presence, about 30 – 35 years old, clearly looked like a Palestinian and he had an Arabic tattoo on the side of his neck. To me as being someone who comes from the streets and has experienced life with criminals, he looked like and carried the presence of a Palestinian criminal who has done time in prison. That was my assumption of him after watching him. We caught eye contact several times on the journey so I had a very good perception of him and this left me with questions.
There was an older Arab guy that he sat next to on the journey; he sat next to the Arab from Eilat until he got off somewhere on-route to Tel Aviv. This Arab guy wore the white head scarf and did not catch eye contact with people; he looked to me as maybe being Egyptian or something, he was aged about 50 – 55 years old. I thought this because we were so close to Egypt and there were Arabs in Eilat’s bus station who looked like they had clearly traveled and crossed into Israel from Egypt. In my mind whilst watching my surroundings it was obvious to me that, that is what must be happening, Arabs traveling into Israel through Eilat.
On the journey I was wondering what this Palestinians reason was for traveling on the bus, I thought that he might have been escorting this Arab guy into Israel for security because he definitely had an intimidating presence that no one would confront unless they really had to so he would act as good security for any Arab wanting to travel into Israel. Apart from this reason I could not think of any other immediate reasons other than the possibility of links to terrorism. He looked like a Gazan Palestinian who had in my mind probably spent time in Egypt because of how he was dressed. He didn’t look like a poor Palestinian living in Gaza even though he looked and carried the presence of a Gazan Palestinian.
Now that this terror attack has hit Eilat it has made me look back at my experience during my time there and this Palestinian traveling on the bus is definitely something that has come back to the forefront of my mind and given me a wider more troubling picture for Israel and the Jewish people about the security situation in Eilat that has consequences for the rest of Israel. You can travel freely from Eilat into the ‘Heart of Israel’ Jerusalem or into the Capital City Tel Aviv with no security checks on route.
When traveling from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv you have to go through stringent bomb and metal detectors before being able to board the bus. Everyone puts their baggage on the underside of the bus then head of to their destinations. In Eilat there are absolutely no security checks at all except for one security guard wishing everyone a happy morning as they enter the front of the station. There is no security around the whole of the building so you can enter at any point and wait to get on any bus with nobody stopping you. It was obvious to me whilst looking at some of the Arab people at the station on the morning I was leaving that they had traveled into Israel across the border, I didn’t think anymore than that, I just made that conclusion from looking at the people and didn’t think anymore of it until now.
It is common knowledge that the Palestinians in Gaza are digging tunnels under the security wall and into Egypt and are smuggling guns and weaponry through the tunnels. The ‘suicide maniac’ who killed himself and innocent Jews this week, came from Gaza so would have had to have traveled through one of the gun smuggling tunnels to get out of Gaza and then travel into Israel. I was told by my Israeli friend that a lot of Arab Israeli’s travel to Taba on the Egyptian side of the border with Israel. If it is that easy to travel across the border between Israel and Egypt then there is a very worrying situation for Israel. The ‘suicidal maniac’ this week was able to enter Eilat and blow himself up after traveling through the Egyptian and the Israeli border. He obviously traveled from Gaza through one of the tunnels into Egypt; he would have then made his way to the border of Egypt with Israel and then entered Eilat as the backdoor to Israel and carried out his mission in the city.
Eilat bus station has absolutely no security checks whatsoever and you can travel freely from Eilat to Tel Aviv with absolutely ‘No’ security checks along the way, you have a free unchecked journey into Israel. I observed this whilst watching the Palestinian on my bus journey.
The Gazan Palestinians only way of entering Israel would be from Gaza into Egypt then the backdoor into Israel – ‘Eilat’. Once in Eilat anyone can travel freely into the ‘Heart of Israel’ unhindered on Israel’s own public transport. This is a very serious security risk for Israel and the Jewish people, especially with the Palestinians in Gaza preparing for another sustained attack against Israel. I dread to think what security issues Israel faces from this backdoor passage into their country.
We ‘Hope and Pray’ that the Israeli security services know about this situation and have been watching it otherwise the security implications for Israel and the Jewish people are very worrying, especially if the Palestinians have been using this route to prepare for attacks against Israel. I have traveled this route and from my perception the Palestinians have a free unhindered journey into Israel to do whatever they please anywhere in the country.