Israeli fights off pirates on honeymoon

Thursday, June 21, 2012 |  Israel Today Staff

An Israeli couple got a little more than they bargained for when they decided to honeymoon in Zanzibar and ended up having to fight off real-life pirates.

Yoav and Esther Peled were married on May 30 and immediately set off for a dream honeymoon on the tropical Tanzanian island of Zanzibar off the east coast of Africa.

Late Sunday night, several weeks into their vacation, the couple found themselves under attack in their hotel room by a group machete-wielding pirates. Yoav, like most Israelis an army veteran, decided to fight back, while both he and Esther shouted for help.

Shocked by the response, and fearing capture, the pirates fled the scene, but not before cutting off several of Yoav's fingers and badly injuring the palm of his hand.

The couple sought and found help in the hotel lobby, and Yoav was flown to Dar el-Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, where doctors were able to reattach his fingers.

Yoav and Esther Peled were scheduled to arrive in Israel on Thursday.

The east coast of Africa has suffered from numerous pirate attacks on foreign ships over the past few years, and Israeli officials are warning others who are planning to visit the area in the near future. Despite the possible dangers, Zanzibar and other parts of eastern Africa remain popular vacation destinations for Israelis.

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