With the latest fatality, a 60 yr-old female motorist who died from hitting camels left wandering along the highway last night, southern residents are baffled why there’s been only 1 prosecution after 7,151 complaints of unattended camels roaming Israel’s Negev roads.
By Eliana Royzen
Camels wandering the roads in the Negev are costing lives.
Amichai Yogev, southern district director of the Regavim organization, provided legal representation for the family of David Cohen, who died a year and a half ago after colliding with a camel. Yogev arrived on the scene yesterday shortly after the woman’s death had been confirmed.
“The conduct of the authorities, in particular the police, seems to suggest that accidents resulting from camels are inevitable, otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible to explain this criminal behavior.” Yogev said angrily. “The police admitted to us that they receive close to a thousand reports annually on camels roaming the roads unattended, but the owners are never located.”
“The prosecution closed its investigation of the accident in which Kobi Buzaglo was killed due to a ‘lack of evidence’, and if it wasn’t for our constant pressure, the same would happen in the case of David Cohen, due to inadequate investigative material.
“This is not a natural phenomenon that occurs naturally without any human influence, but criminals who allow their camels to roam freely without intervention from the legal authorities. How much more blood will need to be spilled before we begin to enforce the law?”
“Remember, six months ago Regavim uncovered Israeli police data which showed disturbing figures on this dangerous phenomenon. Every year the Israeli police responds to 1,000 complaints of camels roaming roads in the south (a total of 7151 cases from January 2008 until June 2015).
“In only one case did Israeli police manage to locate the owner of the camels involved in the accident.”
“Road accident investigators search camels for ID tags when they arrive on the scene of a traffic accident,” the police said in response. “Camel tags are attached to the ear and in most cases, are plucked from the camel before the police arrive on the scene in order to prevent the identification of the camels.”
The single case in which the camel’s owner was located was in the accident which killed David Cohen. A citizen acted quickly and ensured that the ear tag was handed over to the police.
During the period documented, there were at least 73 traffic accidents resulting from stray animals, injuring at least 19 people and killing at least one person. Since the latest grim statistics were revealed, another two more people have lost their lives.
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