Support Our Future Leaders

The Media Line is known for producing truthful, unbiased journalism and we are teaching future journalists to do the same. Through our signature Press and Policy Student Program, The Media Line provides an innovative opportunity for students to globalize their educational experience by connecting to an active news bureau in the Middle East, studying journalism and public policy under the mentorship of veteran journalists while earning academic credit.

These students will reshape how the world sees and understands the Middle East and, in turn, how the Middle East impacts our world. Your contribution will provide the next generation with the skills they need to uphold the highest standards of journalism and, in turn, educate our global society with integrity and respect.

Thank you!

“The Press and Policy Student Program has elevated my global awareness, supported my journalistic efforts, and propelled me on the path of future success within the news industry.”
Press and Policy Student Program Participant
Carla Warren, University of Houston
Thank you and best wishes.
 
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
Israelis Celebrate Biblical Escape From Egypt by Lining up To Return
Woman walking in the Sinai Desert. (Pixabay)

Israelis Celebrate Biblical Escape From Egypt by Lining up To Return

Travel restrictions finally lifted, leading thousands to book coveted Passover holiday in Sinai, as travel advisory warns of possible Iranian attacks on Israeli tourists

Hundreds of Israelis flocked to the Egyptian border crossing early Tuesday morning, hoping to be one of the lucky few allowed to enter the Sinai Desert for a prized holiday vacation after nearly a year of total lockdown.

“We have to take a few days off. After an entire year of closures and stress, there’s no chance we’d stay when we finally have an option to take a break,” Anat, 28, who plans to leave for her trip on Thursday, told The Media Line.

According to the Israeli government’s decision from last week, only 300 visitors will be allowed to leave the country each day and go vacationing in the beloved desert oases of the Sinai, traditionally a favorite holiday destination for Israelis.

To enter Egypt, visitors must present either a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery from the coronavirus issued by Jerusalem’s health ministry, on top of a valid negative COVID-19 test.

Upon returning to Israel, citizens will be asked to take two tests, on each side of the border.

Hundreds of would-be travelers have protested in recent weeks, after Israel’s international airport and border crossings with neighboring Jordan were opened while the Egyptian crossing remained shuttered.

Last week, Jerusalem’s government finally announced the border would be open in time for Passover, the Jewish holiday which, ironically, commemorates the Israelites escape from Egypt over 3,000 years ago.

After the two countries signed their historic peace accord in the early 80s, the sparsely populated Sinai Peninsula, situated between Israel’s southern desert and Egypt’s bustling mainland, became a darling among Israelis, especially during the summer and spring holidays.

“We’ve gone every year for Passover vacation, for I think nearly ten years now,” Ofer, 39, who has reserved an entry into Egypt for his family for later this week, told The Media Line.

“Last year we couldn’t go, because of the restrictions. It was tough, but when the vaccinations arrived, we knew we would go down there this time,” he said.

Yet Israeli tourists may have more to fear than a locked border crossing or the still-raging pandemic.

On Monday, Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) published its semiannual assessment of global terror threats to Jews and Israelis traveling abroad.

According to the travel advisory, “Iran is expected to continue pursuing its intention of harming Israeli targets in the near future,” similar to the attempted attack near the Israeli embassy in India in January.

The arenas most likely to be chosen for such activities, the NSC projects, are Gulf nations which have recently signed normalization accords with Jerusalem and have subsequently become coveted tourist attractions for Israelis, and the Sinai Peninsula.

The report also warns that global jihadi groups, specifically ISIS and its sympathizers, “have demonstrated high motivation to execute terror attacks throughout the world … in Israeli tourist centers.”

“It should be reminded that the recent year has seen explicit calls by ISIS leadership to its operatives in Sinai and in Syria to target Israelis,” the report concluded.

We have to take a few days off. After an entire year of closures and stress, there’s no chance we’d stay when we finally have an option to take a break

Yet vacationers at Israel’s southern border will not be denied their holiday.

“They put out their report every year, so what?” Anat said dismissively. “It’s just to cover themselves. We’re going to a recognized campsite, we know the people there, we’ve been there before. I’m not worried.”

Israel over the past few weeks has largely been rid of the scourge of the coronavirus, chiefly due to the mass vaccination effort of its citizens.

Nearly 5 million Israelis have received both vaccine doses required to achieve over 90% immunity from the virus, bringing the nation’s morbidity rate down sharply.

The test positivity test has dropped to under 2% over the past week, as the number of hospitalizations, severe cases and new infections have also all declined rapidly.

“It’s our own freedom celebration,” said Anat, referring to the Jewish Passover holiday which marks the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt to liberty in their homeland.

“We deserve it, don’t we?”

 

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today.
Thank you!

We paved the way to be the Trusted Mid East News you can rely on!

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.