Israel helps rescue Arabs in Saudi desert

Thursday, January 04, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
The Israeli Foreign Ministry was able to assist in the rescue of 47 Israeli Arabs who got stuck in the vast desert of Saudi Arabia for 10 hours. The travelers were on their way back to Israel after visiting the holy city of Mecca for the traditional Hajj pilgrimage.

The group of Israeli Arab pilgrims were all residents of the village of Yafia near Nazareth and included men, women, and children. On their way back from Mecca, their bus broke down in the middle of the desert, a distance of about 200 kilometers from north of the city.

The driver of the broken down bus had promised the group that another bus would come to replace the broken one and take them home, but nothing happened and the Israelis had to wait there for almost eight hours.

After hours of waiting, one of the travelers called the tour operator in Israel, who called the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry quickly phoned the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan. The embassy quickly found a helpful hand at the Jordanian royal palace. The Jordanians quickly called the Saudi royal palace in Riyadh, who promised to take care of the urgent situation.

After only two hours since the initial phone call to Israel, Saudi police forces arrived on the scene in the middle of the desert and rescued the Israeli pilgrims from the billowing desert.

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