Israeli honeymooners attacked by pirates in Zanzibar

Machete-wielding pirates attack Yoav and Esther Peled; Yoav fights back, loses some fingers – but surgeons managed to reattach them

By Shiri Hadar



A honeymoon turned sour this week for an Israeli couple who were attacked by pirates in Zanzibar.

A honeymoon to remember

A honeymoon to remember

Yoav and Esther Peled of Givatayim married on May 30 and travelled to the Tanzanian islands after the wedding. On Sunday, a group of pirates armed with machetes attacked the couple. Yoav, who confronted them, lost some of his fingers to the pirates’ blades.

Peled managed to reach medical help, and was flown from Zanzibar to Dar es-Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, where he had emergency surgery. The cut he sustained from the pirates’ machete was extremely deep, reaching the nerves of his hand, but the doctors nevertheless reattached his severed fingers.

The Foreign Ministry said that it was familiar with the incident. “It happened Sunday during a robbery. The man is currently hospitalized in Zanzibar. His family knows, and so does (the couple’s) insurance company, Harel.”

Hilik Magnus, who conducts search and rescue operations for the Phoenix insurance company, said that tourists must act with the understanding that if they encounter pirates, they must cooperate quietly.

“Tourists are the preferred targets for criminal incidents, because they’re defenseless. In addition, from the perspective of politics, everyone involved wants to gloss over the incident so the place doesn’t gain a reputation as dangerous for tourists,” Magnus added.


View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4245196,00.html


  1. Shaun Moore says:

    My wife and I met Mr. and Mrs. Peled shortly after this horrible incident and heard the details directly from them.

    First of all, Yoav, what you did was very brave and likely saved your lives! I’m sorry to have met you at the Dar airport under such circumstances. We wish you a speedy recovery and know you’re being well taken care of.

    I’m writing this reponse because I’m a traveler who relies on the reports of others to help inform me about the level of risk I’m taking when traveling to a particular location and having heard the details directly from the victims I believe the writer of this story was at best uninformed and at worst dangerously negligent.

    The story makes no accurate mention of the location or circumstances under which this took place, furthermore by saying they were attacked by pirates, the story falsly implies they were in a boat on the ocean far from others where other pirate activity has taken place. Therefore, as a reader of this story I’d assume I should be careful if considering a remote boating excursion and would have no idea of the risk of staying at one of the areas most exlusive beach resorts with private bungalows and “around the clock security”.

    Attacks don’t just happen to people doing high risk activities or who are staying in “dangerous” neighborhoods or at low budget accomidations. And from my experience it seems the likelyhood of being assulted at a hotel rises or falls in relationship to factors that are addressable by the properties management.

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