Last week Egypt celebrated the April 25th Sinai’s liberation day and Yesterday Al Masry Al Youm Daily published online a report about the Remains of Egyptian POWs scattered across North Sinai with testimonies from eye witnesses about the IDF’s atrocities against the Egyptian officers and soldiers captured in 1967 war.
The newspaper spoke with “Said Atika” , a local from North Sinai who is concerned with the POWs file and is angry on how the government is ignoring the lost rights of his POWs who told it that “There are hundreds of POWs remains across Sinai” and that the Bedouin elderly tell him from time to time on how they buried “under that tree couple of officers” or “near that hill they buried three soldiers” ..etc.
Atika added a very interesting point that in a mine field at Sheikh Zowaid remains of the Egyptian soldiers and officers were found after a mine was exploded which means that the Israeli forces deliberately put these mines in specific parts in Sinai to hide these cemeteries. It is unclear if Egypt has got the maps of mine fields in Sinai like in the Western desert , still another huge problem in Sinai waiting for the new President is the mines fields problem and what these fields hide !!
Al Masry Al Youm also spoke with Swilam Sulieman who witnessed in 1967 how his dad and other members of their tribes buried the remains of Egyptian POWs killed in cold blood by IDF. “This hill includes the remains of nearly 40 Egyptian officer and soldier” Sulieman who works now as a guard for the famous Gas pipeline told the newspaper that there was whole battalion of captured POWs that was killed and buried at the famous An-Nakhl fortress in the city of An Nakhl in North Sinai.
The story of that battalion is confirmed by one of the locals in the city “Hassan Abdullah El Nakhalawy” who added that the 10s of POWs remains resurfaced after heavy rain had hit the city this winter and that the city council wanted to send a truck to collect these remains but he refused but he felt it was disrespectful act for these POWs.
Boldly enough the head of the Nakhl city council told Al Masry Al Youm that “Burying the POWs was not his job but it was rather the supreme council of antiquities job”
The ministry of culture in Egypt has already requested UNESCO to include An Nakhl fortress to its famous World Heritage locations in Egypt.
On April 25th , 2012 tens of protesters headed to the Dayan Memorial in Sheikh Zowaid in order to paint the Egyptian flag on it but failed to do so as they were blocked by security forces and were allowed only to put the Egyptian flag on the Memorial. According to locals in the area , the Dayan Memorial commemorating the death of Israeli pilots in Sinai was actually set up over a cemetery for the Egyptian POWs made by the tribes in the areas.
Thanks for Al Masry Al Youm and its amazing reporters in their fantastic job still I am afraid among the current Presidential elections debates this important case is still under wrap despite the scattered remains of POWs across the sands of Sinai