Dozens of camels belonging to the “death herd” were confiscated in a massive police roundup Sunday, the Regavim movement reported Monday. The camels used to wander along and across the highways in Israel’s south as well as in the firing zone of the IDF Tze’elim base, southwest of Be’er Sheva, and caused several lethal road accidents. Regavim issued a call to the authorities to not let this be a one-time operation.
The camels’ roundup was carried out by the Green Patrol, with police backup, after having been captured for the umpteenth time roaming aimlessly on the southern highways and the IDF firing zone. The herd that was confiscated on Sunday belongs to the Bedouin Al Assam family from Tel Sheva, east of Be’er Sheva. The family’s camels have been involved in at least two fatal road accidents in recent years, in which David Cohen from Moshav Retamim and Michal Ventura from Be’er Sheva were killed.
Regavim represents Cohen’s family in a lawsuit, and was involved in the “Camels Law” bill which was submitted to the Knesset. The movement reiterated that the Al Assam herd has been captured several times grazing illegally.
“The local authorities have known for many years that the herd owner behaves in a lawless and scandalous manner, getting caught time and again in firing zones and on traffic arteries, and nothing was done that was sufficiently deterrent,” said Amichai Yogev, southern district manager for Regavim.
“The confiscation operation was an important and welcome step,” Yogev added, “but for the accident victims and their families it was too late. We hope that it was not a one-time event but rather the beginning of a move to solve this serious problem, which puts so many lives at risk.”