Osama Ali El-Sadak
A veteran Colonel
I joined the Egyptian army as a Lieutenant in the infantry in the third Battalion after graduation from the Military school in 1966, in May 1967 I found myself along with other going to Sinai which I didn’t know anything about, my unit continued in the constant preparation for the war for more than a week in Abu Agila area at the Egyptian-Israeli borders till the orders came on the 6th of June to withdraw. During the withdrawal we were driving Lorries, and unfortunately those Lorries were targeted by the Israeli tanks. From fear our driver accelerated the speed and so he hit with a rock, and the lorry fell down on another rock with height of one meter and thus the lorry went upside down, everyone hurried out of the lorry and ran as fast as they could for a long distance away from the lorry, while I was trapped inside it for almost an hour. I couldn’t go out because my right hand was injured with a shot directly before our withdrawal and I couldn’t take any medication or aid, fortunately 5 soldiers from my battalion heard me and so they managed to get me out from the broken glass, they stayed with me till the end of the journey thinking that as long as I was an officer I knew everything in Sinai. Because we were so tired, we sat in an area we knew later that it was Mount Lobuna, and we were wake from our short nap on feet that were kicking us everywhere in our bodies, and a voice asking us “Where is the Jalal and Halmi defense line?”, I told them that I knew it was the withdrawal line, but we were lost and we did’t know where it was, then I asked who they were, one of them answered and told me that he was Brigadier Jalal and the other one was Brigadier Halmi, and they were lost like us. On the second day, 32 soldiers joined us, they came from some military workshop, we continued our walk and all our aim is to stay away from the paved roads so we wouldn’t fall in the capture of the IDF, we began to fall down from the thirst till we found on the fourth day a water tank called Ghorab El-Miah, we ran immediately towards and near of the tank we were surprised by a horrible scene We found about 50 of the soldier killed by gunshots and the remarks of the tanks treads on their bodies, it was a terrifying scene, away from the bodies, we found one soldier who was alive despite his injury, and he told us that they had been surprised by an Israeli tank coming from behind them pushing us with machine guns to Ghorab El-Miah till we arrived to the water tank and before anyone could drink, another tank came in an intersected shape then they started to shot us then the tank moved over the soldiers bodies ,some of them were alive We buried them then we walked towards the mount in order to be protected by its shadow from the sun, and before we reached there, two helicopters flying low attacked us, one of the snipers opened his gun machine around us, and sand was flying around us and we were running without conscious from fear, we were hearing the laughs of the shooter and the pilots happy and enjoying with our run in front of us, then the aircraft flied around us in a circle more than one time , and it would come down on some of us with its landing skies in their heads to fell down in their blood and humiliation . Then the aircraft left the area after it humiliated and freaked us that some one of us said that he would be lucky the one who would die first because he would found someone to bury him, the ravens began to hover around us as they know that we were having a date with death, some of us died because of the extreme fatigue, thirst and humiliation; and some were lost in the mountains. Mr. El-Sadak stopped for a while as his eyes were full of tears; he seemed for a while to be in another place, in Sinai in the June of 1967, then after a short pause he continued to share with the whole his terrible experience he didn’t forget after all these year , how can !?? We were looking every where for a drink or a food without paying attention for the landmine the Zionists left to kill us, till we heard an Egyptian voice requesting help as it were dying, at first we feared that it could be a ghost or a spirit of our martyrs, when the voice repeated the request again we began the search for him, till we found him, he was all buried in the sand except his head. We tried to get him out but he screamed and he kept speaking to us while he was dying he told that he was from the Tanks battalion and after a fight with the enemy, they were captured and they were 13 soldiers and 4 officers, they tortured them in the worst way ever and in the end they tied their hands and put behind they backs, then they put it in one row and the tank came and moved on them while they were alive. We stood for couple of moments to understand what we saw and we could not think, as every time we tried to pull out of the martyrs from his feet, we found that this part only pulled out in our hands, as the tank cut their joints at the shoulder s and lower parts of their bodies, and that’s why we found the martyrs in several pieces, of course the big share was for the explosion of their stomach and the exist of their intestines, I couldn’t understand what happened easily , and after great effort we managed to gathered them in a hole and bury them ,after praying the funeral prayer on them . In the morning we found some palm trees near from where we were, and that meant that there should be water well in the area, one of the Bedouins advised us to take our precaution if we found palm trees in our way, because for sure behind those tree we would find either drug dealers or Israelis, he also had advised us to enter for the south so they would not hear us, we did so and set behind the palm trees enjoying the water which we didn’t see or taste for days , but unfortunately we heard the sound of a tank ,we followed it behind the trees while it was moving till it stopped at distance less 100 meter from where we were, we held our breathes and lied on our stomachs ,the most important that caught our attention that we found that tank was dragging behind it in a rope a number of Egyptian POWs It was moving dragging them on the sands, and when it stopped, we saw 4 Israelis, among them a girl, one of them went to the POWs and ordered them to stand up using cruelty and kicking them with his shoe, and then he pushed 4 of them in front of the tank, another one helped him to tie their hands behind their backs and pushed them to lay down, in order to make them ready for smashing like the way it happened with the previous martyrs ,we were in the worst situation you can imagine , we could imagine that our brothers would be killed in front of us and their bodies would be mutilated , but what could we have done , we only had 12 bolts in one riffle !!
Col. El-Sadak cried again and paused then continued
One of the Israelis was standing in the tank’s tower; the other was above the heads of the POWs while they were screaming from pain, main while the third Israeli and the girl took off their clothes and were having sex on the sand, I told my soldiers Farg and Gowali to shot down the soldier in the tank, while Amar and Atia would shot down the soldier who was torturing our brothers, while me and Mustafa would shot down the boy and the girl , and thanks to Allah we succeeded and we hurried to free our 4 colleagues yet we looked to their miserable condition thanks to the torture, as overalls were cut and blood was all over their faces and chests , their mouths were full of sands from the lynching trace and the walk of the Israeli soldier over their faces The oldest POWs introduced us to himself and the others, major William Shafik, the commander of the tanks battalion, the same battalion from which 13 POWs who were executed earlier belonged to, whom were crashed by the tanks from couple of days. The he urged us to move fast as there were two another tanks coming with the rest of the POWs who were seven, and so we moved to the inside the water well to hide , when we heard the sounds of blasts, fights and gun machines, and despite 11 Egyptians were killed yet our happiness was big because they managed to destroy 3 tanks with 12 Israeli soldiers beside destroying a helicopter with the pilot and co-pilot
This testimony was published on the 13th of March 2007 in Daily Masry El-Youm, and it was written by Shiama Abd El-Hady