JERUSALEM (Nov. 13)
Travel between Israel and Egypt declined sharply in the first half of the year, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
During the first six months of 1997, 135,200 Israelis visited Egypt, a 13 percent drop from the same period a year earlier, the bureau reported.
At the same time, 6,500 Egyptians visited Israel, a decline of 38 percent from the previous year.
Tourism between Israel and Jordan changed little, the bureau said.
In the first half of the year, 19,700 Jordanians visited Israel, a decline of 1 percent from the previous year’s similar period.
The number of Israelis visiting Jordan remained unchanged at 79,200.
The bureau did not explain the declines, but relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors have soured as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process faltered during the past year.
Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with the Jewish state.