Camels Costing Lives on Negev Roads

A herd of camels seen in the Judean Desert on September 10, 2015, as a major sand storm hit across the country. (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90)
A herd of camels seen in a sandstorm in the Judean Desert in September 2015. (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90)

The safety hazard posed by camels roaming about on roads by themselves in the Negev was tragically underscored by the death of a woman who crashed into a caravan of them near Be’er Sheva on Sunday.

There are hundreds of reported incidents of camels roaming unattended, but police have not been tracking down the negligent owners.

Amichai Yogev, southern district director of the Regavim organization, told Arutz Sheva that “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.

“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,” Yogev said.

Yogev was the legal representative for the family of David Cohen, who died a year and a half ago after colliding with a camel.

“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?”

In response to Yogev, police said: “Road accident investigators search camels for ID tags when they arrive on the scene of a traffic accident. 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.”