Israeli Minister Expects Fewer American Tourists

The Israeli Tourism Ministry expects fewer tourists from North America after an American was killed in a terrorist bombing of a bus here Monday.

“It’s very said, but we can overcome it,” Tourism Minister Uzi Baram told Israel Radio.

“I have no actual figures,” he said. “I can predict that less tourists will come, but our plan is to bring 2.5 million Jews to Israel” as tourists.

Among the five people killed in the attack was Joan Davenny, a teacher at a Jewish school in Woodbridge, Conn., who was spending the year in Israel on a special program for Jewish educators.

Baram said the Tourism, Ministry had launched an aggressive advertising campaign in the United States after American student Alisa Faltow was killed in an April 9 bus explosion in the Gaza Strip that also claimed the lives of seven Israeli soldiers.

Those wounded in Monday’s bombing included a number of foreign students. Many of them were on their way to The Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus for Hebrew language classes.

Avraham Burg, head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, said 18 new immigrants studying in the agency’s absorption program were among the injured.

“It is a tragedy,” said Burg, who added that many of the young people had just moved to Israel and are in the process of becoming Israelis.

They included students from the United States, the former Soviet Union, France and Switzerland, Burg said.

“Without mentioning any names, a few of the more seriously injured were these students,” Burg told Israel Radio. “There was one guy who is suffering from back and lower body problems.”

Many of the students came to Israel without family and are living alone.

“In a way, the Jewish Agency is their family,” Burg said. “Our people are with them. I’ve been in touch with their families.”

Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the deputy director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization said some family members from abroad had already begun to arrive in Israeli to be with their children.

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