On the 40th anniversary of the October 1973 war “Yom Kippur war” You will find it rare that Egyptian or Israeli media would speak about what happened to Egyptian POWs during that war. The media’s focus especially in Egypt is about the Israeli POWs and the good treatment they received .
On the other side very few sources speak about what happened during that war from crimes and violations committed by the Israeli Defense army. Group 73 Historians, a group of army veterans who chronicle independently the history of the wars against Israel revealed a horrifying incident which they named “The Thunderbolt Forces Massacre”.
The incident is based upon the testimony of former major general Magdy Shehata’s memories.
“We were on the way for an operation behind the enemy lines in South Sinai in 5 planes , the 4th plane crushed down after crushing in to a high transmission wire. One soldier was killed in the crush while the rest were injured. Of course they were spotted by the Israeli army and sooner the IDF came capturing the soldiers and their commander. ” Said the veteran general who spent 200 days behind the enemy lines in 1973 war.
According to the veteran general the IDF officers blindfolded the commander of that unit , his colleague officer Samir Salem who would hear shooting while he was being transferred to the IDF camp without knowing the fate of his soldiers.
“At the camp , the IDF officers began to ask Salem’s questions about his mission as well the whereabouts of his unit , he told them that his unit was the one accompanied him in the crushing site and that they were injured, but they did not believe him and told him that they killed all the soldiers as soon as they were captured” Magdy Shehata recounted what he knew adding that Salem thought that what he was being told actually was part of psychological warfare.
After two days the POW officer was transferred to the Red Cross delegation, and there he found a soldier from his unit injured telling him that the IDF officers indeed killed all the unit as soon as they were captured despite they were injured. Unfortunatelythere are not much details about the exact date of that massacrebut I am assuming that it was in the early days of the battle.
“That soldier was a lucky one , he witnessed how the IDF soldiers and officers opened their fire killing the rest of the unit shooting them in the head and the heart , he was shot and got a superficial wound in the head that made him pass out thus they thought that he was killed. He witnessed how an IDF officer would double check the bodies to make sure that they were dead by shooting them in the head.” The general continued saying in his memories.
That soldier later woke up in the site and was saved by the Red Cross. I believe according to this testimony the Red Cross should have found those soldiers’ dead bodies and Egypt would be notified. Unfortunately after 40 years there are no public access to the records and files of that war or any other war.
Former Major General Magdy Shehata is from the heroes of the Egyptian thunderbolt forces “Special forces” that played a heroic role during the 1973.
The testimony of former major general Shehata was confirmed by other veterans including military historian and former general Mohamed Okasha as well former air forces general Nasr Moussa in 2012 in the Egyptian media.