CAIRO: The Israel newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported that a delegation from the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry was harassed by airport security in Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv.
According to the Israeli paper, the delegation was delayed for two hours and had their passports confiscated even though they had valid visas issued by the Israeli embassy in Cairo. No explanation was given for these actions.
This was the latest incident in a long line of difficulties Egyptian officials face when visiting Israel.
Yediot Ahronot quoted Israeli businessman Danny Roshin as saying, “All the preparations that were made beforehand in order to prevent the disgrace failed. The Israeli officials were deeply ashamed.
The article also stated that Galal El-Zorba, chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, announced that he would discontinue his visits to Israel because of the “harassments, delays and humiliations.
However, in an article in Al-Masry Al-Youm, El-Zorba denied making this statement and the incident altogether. “I didn’t say this and I didn’t see or speak to anyone from this newspaper [Ahronot], he was reported as saying. He also said he has been going to Israel for “years without facing any problems.
El-Zorba could not be reached for comment at press time.
“Egyptian businessmen have already warned that the treatment they were being subjected to at the airport might harm trade relations between Israel and Egypt, Yediot Ahronot reported.
The Israeli embassy in Egypt was not available for comment.
In another article, Yediot Ahoronot reported that the Israeli Minister of Transportation Shaul Mofaz had stopped the usage of different colored stickers for travelers’ luggage at airport security checks to distinguish between Arab and Jewish travelers.
The colored stickers denoted different levels of security checks, with more stringent measures for Arab families, Israeli Arabs, and Arabs traveling alone.
The new all-white stickers will have different numbers to denote Jews (1), Israeli Arabs (2) and Arabs (5) with the security measures also intensified the higher the number.