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Camels Are Costing Lives in Southern Israel

Amichai Yogev from the Regavim Organization, that is tracking the phenomenon of stray camels in the Negev, arrived yesterday at the scene of the fatal accident in which a woman was killed by a camel. “How much blood must be shed in order to begin to enforce the law?”

The camels wandering on the roads in the Negev took another toll of human life.  In a fatal road accident that occurred on Sunday near Beersheba, a woman in her sixties was killed after she crashed into three camels roaming the road unmolested.

Camels 1

Camels 2

Camels 3

Amichai Yogev, the Southern Coordinator for Regavim, the legal representative for the family of David Cohen, who was killed about a year and a half ago after crashing into a wandering camel, arrived last night after the accident, shortly after the woman was pronounced dead. 

“Conduct of the authorities and the police in particular, seems to refer to accidents involving camels as fate and inevitable.  Otherwise it is impossible to explain this criminal conduct,” says an angry Yogev.  “When we approached the police they admitted that they get close to a thousand reports annually on camels roaming.  The police have yet to locate the owners in any of these incidents.  The prosecution closed its investigation of the accident which killed Kobi Buzaglo because of “lack of evidence,” and if we were not constantly pressuring, then the same result will happen in the investigation file of David Cohen, i.e., lack of evidence.  This is not a natural phenomenon, but repeat offenders that allow camels to roam freely and are mocking the legal authorities. How much more blood needs to spill before they begin to enforce the law?”

It should be remembered that a half a year ago, Regavim exposed the Israel Police figures that show a disturbing situation of this dangerous phenomenon. From the response of the Israeli police it was revealed that every year there are 1,000 complaints of wandering camels on the roads in the south.  From January 2008 until June 2015 there were a staggering total of 7,151 cases.

In only one incident alone have the Israeli police managed to locate the owner of the camels involved in the accident. “Road accidents investigators search for ID tags on camels immediately upon arrival to the scenes of traffic accidents,” was the police response. “Camel ID tags are attached to their ears and in most cases, are plucked off before the arrival of the police in order to prevent the identification of the owners.”

The only individual case where the camel owner was located was in the accident that killed David Cohen. A citizen who rushed to the scene was able save the ear tag and hand it over to the police. 

During the period examined there were at least 73 traffic accidents resulting from stray animals, injuring at least 19 people and killing at least one person. In the meantime, two more people have lost their lives and have joined the grim statistics.