Judge Ahmed El-Shazly of Supreme Administrative court in Egypt

Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court: The Egyptian government should demand 1956 and 1967 POWs rights

On Saturday, Egypt’s Supreme Administrative court made headlines once again when it rejected the Egyptian government’s appeal against previous administrative court order obliging it to demand the rights of the 1956 and 1967 Egyptian POWs officially.

Judge Ahmed El-Shazly
Judge Ahmed El-Shazly of Egypt’s Supreme Administrative court 

The Supreme Administrative court headed by honourable Judge Ahmed El-Shazly upheld the March 2008 Administrative court’s ruling obliging the Egyptian government to demand the rights of the Egyptian POWs in the 1956 and 1967 wars.

In 2001, a group of  Egyptian POWs families and ex-POWs represented by lawyer and 1973 war veteran Wahid El-Oksori filed a lawsuit in front of the Egyptian administrative court demanding the Egyptian government to investigate the allegations against the Israeli Defense Forces “IDF”.

In March 2008, the administrative court issued its court ruling obliging the Egyptian foreign ministry to investigate the allegations.  Following that court order, the Egyptian government represented in the State Lawsuits authorities

The Egyptian government represented in the State Lawsuits authorities appealed the court ruling in front of the Supreme Administrative court.

Only on 21 January 2018, the Supreme Administrative court made its final verdict rejecting the Egyptian government’s appeal and upholding the 2008 court ruling.

The State lawsuits authority claimed in its appeal that the Egyptian government did not fail its duty. It said that ousted President Mubarak demanded Israel to investigate the allegations of killing the Egyptian POWs in 1995 and that the Israeli government formed a fact-finding committee to investigate the matter. That alleged fact-finding committee finished its work in 1998 but did not share its results with the Egyptian government according to the government’s representative in court.

The State lawsuits authority added that the Egyptian foreign ministry followed the Shaked documentary in 2007 and raised the matter with Israel as well as the Red Cross.  The government’s lawyer added in its appeal that Camp David accords and suspected that the families of the POWs are related to the POWs in the first place !!

According to the Supreme Administrative court’s reasoning that the documents presented to it that the IDF committed war crimes against Egypt and the Arab military and that the Egyptian government failed in prosecuting Israel criminally as well in demanding compensation international for the victims. 

Head of Supreme Administrative court Judge Ahmed EL-Shazly made headlines last week when the Supreme Administrative Court rejected the appeal of the Egyptian government against the Administrative court ruling in April 2016 annulling the Egyptian Saudi deal to redraw the maritime deal, which placed the Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir under Saudi Sovereignty.

Ironically, the State lawsuits authority brought up once again the jurisdiction of the Supreme Administrative Court in its lawsuit just like Tiran and Sanafir.

There has been no reaction from the Egyptian foreign ministry about this court ruling yet.

Al Watan Newspaper Remembers Egyptian POWs in #1967 War Defeat Anniversary

Al Watan Newspaper published last 5th of June 2013 a special report in Arabic about the Egyptian POWs in 1956 and in 1967.

Despite it is not the biggest special coverage considering the fact that we are currently in

? Egyptian POWs in tracks “Corbis”

political development marathon in Egypt yet it reminds the Egyptian and Arab readers with what happened to our POWs in both wars.

The special coverage included the testimony of 1967 veteran and former POW Ibrahim El Siyad. Ibrahim was a solider in Al Arish in the Supply and transportation branch during the six days war. After his capture near Al Arish city in his attempt to flee the city , he was transferred to Al Arish military airport where he witnessed the killing of Egyptian POWs in the airport.

“They {IDF soldiers} used to dig a pit in the sand then they ordered the Egyptian POW to sit at the pit and they shot him” MR. El Siyad stated what many had witnessed in Al Arish airport and how it turned to graveyard then.

El Siyad was transferred later to Atlit prison camp to spend there 5 months. 

During his transportation he survived death , when young IDF soldiers “originally Yemeni teenagers” opened their fire in the way on the POWs. Only 3 POWs from 50-60 POWs survived including El Siyad. El Siyad was injured in his hand.

Interestingly I remember reading a similar testimony on how the POWs transferred in  trucks were shot in their head. It seems that there was some order to reduce the number of POWs using all possible ways after all !!

According to the old POW there were 5000 Egyptian POWs in Atlit prison. He mentioned about the inhuman conditions the POWs suffered from during their detention. “We were 100 in each ward, they used to lock us up in the ward from 4 PM to 8 AM without water , we used to pee in a bucket” The old POW remembered his days in the POWs prison camp adding that he did not receive a medical care for his hand injury except one month.

Mr. El Siyad is suing the IDF in front of the State Council in Egypt.

The testimony was recorded in video by the way. I wish it is translated in English.

(more…)

The Crimes Against Egyptian POWs in Crimes of War Project

The Crimes of War project is a very promising respectable international project for documenting war crimes all over the world despite how this mission seems hard and difficult. The project issued a book about the war crimes in the world “Crimes of War 2.0” which is a guide to educate the people more about the war crimes using documented examples from around the globe and it is available in different languages among which an Arabic version from the book.

The project is an independent body that has no Arabic or Islamic relation what so ever , of course I have to say so just in case because there is an extensive section of course in this project and its book about the Arabic-Israeli conflict since 1948 war.

I found this part from the “Arab-Israeli Wars” Chapter related to the war crimes against our Egyptian POWs in 1956 and 1967 wars

In October–November 1956, the IDF overran the Gaza Strip, where it remained in control until March 1957. During the battle for this heavily populated zone and during the first weeks of occupation, the IDF killed some five hundred civilians, either in actual combat or in a subsequent series of massacres. Elsewhere during the Sinai-Suez War, IDF troops reportedly killed fleeing, and often unarmed, Egyptian troops by the hundreds and, occasionally, Egyptian prisoners of war. For example, at the end of October 1956, the IDF Paratroop Brigade killed some three dozen POWs near the Mitle Pass. Revelation of this affair in 1995 prompted Egyptian protests to Jerusalem and a demand for an investigation (whose results were never made public).

During the 1967 Six-Day and October 1973 wars, there were cases of IDF troops killing fleeing, and often unarmed, Arab troops and murdering POWs. Again, the victorious Israelis had greater opportunity to commit atrocities than their Arab foes, but there is evidence also that Arab troops, when given the chance, killed off surrendering Israelis and POWs. Such incidents occurred in the 1973 war’s first days, when the Syrians overran part of the Golan Heights and the Egyptians overran the IDF’s Bar-Lev Line along the east bank of the Suez Canal. Arab civilians and security forces also killed downed Israeli pilots on both fronts.

Again the researchers in the project are not Arabs nor antisemitic and you can see they are unbiased in the last part which I accuse the Arabs of murdering Israeli POWs , I do no know about the Syrian front but I will speak about the Egyptian side , the documents we have prove otherwise.

I can’t deny that the people in Delta killed the Israeli pilots who were downed but you must bear in mind the farmers in Delta were extremely angry because for years they have been targeted by the raids of the IAF through those 6 years.

You must know that up till now the Egyptian government is cooperating with the Israeli counterpart considering its missing pilots

False Promises

In 1995 after the shameful confessions of IDF commanders of committing war crimes against our POWs in 1956 Suez War and what followed it affecting our mutual relations then , French Libération continued to cover the matter internationally revealing things we did not know about then back in Egypt for some reason. In August 1995 the French newspaper published a small newspaper based on an interview with an Israeli official , Elie Dayan who was the Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs with an unnamed Egyptian newspaper that Israel was ready to pay compensation to families of the 900 Egyptian prisoners massacred by Israeli soldiers during the wars of 1956 and 1967 and that those acts did not represent the Hebrew State…etc.

Here is the original article and its English translation.

I do not recall that interview but I believe the French newspaper could have quoted Al Ahram newspaper. It is very important statement for sure and I do not have to bet that in the original interview Dayan said the following : “Israel is ready to pay compensation for the 900 Egyptian prisoners if they were proven to be murdered by the IDF” because after few days we found in the same newspaper a small news saying that Shimon Perez , the new Prime minister then promised to open an investigation in to the matter in order to calm down the Egyptian angry public then despite the Israel’s Attorney General back then “Michael Ben-Yair” had ruled that there was no basis for prosecuting soldiers for wars crimes or offenses as he had described it in 1956 and 1967 war because of a 20 years limitation on homicide charges !! The attorney general did not considered the crimes against our POWs as war crimes !!

Here is the second article and its English translation

Search For the 1956 POWs Massacre in Israeli literature

Literature is known to be the mirror of the society and its share from its social and political defeats and triumphs especially when it is inspired by real events like wars.

In 1960 one of Israel’s finest authors and playwrights Aharon Megged wrote a novel called “The fortunes of a fool” which

Aharon Megged

was published in 1960 , the novel is about the Suez war and its reflection on the hero of the novel , the fool who suffers in his social life to the degree that he wishes to kill himself finding a final resort in a terrible war.

In the 310 pages novel there is a whole chapter dedicated to the military tribunal of that fool hero who refused to follow his commanders’ orders and kill the Egyptian POWs he was guarding where there is that interesting dialogue between the judge and the fool hero showing how the Israeli military establishment supported and approved ((still does)) the murder of unarmed Arab POWs.

There is no doubt that Megged did not imagine that tribunal and that support to POWs murder from nothing , there is no smoke without fire, already in 1956 Israeli military correspondent then Amir Oren wrote about the Metla massacre then in Israeli newspaper “Davar“. There is no doubt that Megged was inspired by Oren’s reports where he wrote that whole chapter in that novel to represent his hero as a fool in the eyes of a military establishment.

“The fortunes of a fool” was translated in to English in 1962 in the United States. I do not know if it has been translated

Fortunes of a fool

in to Arabic or not despite the fact that other Megged’s have been translated in the Arab world as an example to the contemporary Israeli literature. This novel shows the importance of reading and translating the Israeli literature which is another window to understand the Israeli and Zionist mindsets. I knew about this novel from a 2009 op-ed by Dr. Ibrahim El-Bahrawy ((professor of Hebrew in Ain Shams university)) who was among the first to introduce examples from Israeli literature to the Egyptian and Arabic readers since early 1970s.

The English translation is available in Amazon.com if you are interested in reading it.

Did Or Did Not Rabin Admitt it in 1995 ??

This is not the Egyptian Press , this is not the Arabic press , this is the French Press archives : A Libération article from 1995

Rabin reconnaît le massacre de soldats égyptiens par Israël

Rabin recognizes the massacre of Egyptian soldiers

According to that old article which was based upon quotes of  Israeli foreign minister and the current President now Shimon Perez to Radio Israel late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin admitted the Israeli responsibility for the IDF crimes in both Suez War and six days war in a meeting with President Mubarak in Washington D.C in 1995 during the Oslo 2 agreement.

Again this is a French newspaper not an Arabic newspaper.

I tried to search in international archives regarding this incident and I found out that the Israeli Press said the opposite as usual :

From Jerusalem Post :Rabin , Mubarak pledge not to let POW issue to ruin relations.

From that small excerpt you will see how the Israeli media fools the Israeli public claiming that “The Mubarak government has been under pressure from Islamic militants in Egypt” to readdress the issue !!?? What Islamic

Mubarak and Rabin in 1995
Mubarak and Rabin in 1995

militants !!?? It was in fact Dr. Cherif Bassiouny who spoke with president Mubarak about the matter and he is no way associated with any militant group !!?? It was clearly that the media there was using the Israeli public fear from militant groups and was claiming that they were pushing the Egyptian regime , the Mubarak regime to reopen the war crimes against the Egyptian POWs file as if Biro did not brag with his crimes !!

If you check the dates you will find it goes with what Dr.Bassiouny had revealed that Mubarak met with pressure from the States and Israel to close the file , may be Rabin admitted Israel’s responsibility in that meeting by off the record and wanted to be in that way in front of a comprise or may be he had admitted and let Clinton pressure Mubarak  to close the file and let it not to ruin the so-called neutralized relations.

Neutralized relations are not built over the war crimes which will surface again one day.

Again the first links are from a French newspaper quoting Radio Israel which for long time was considered from the reliable sources of information in the Middle East. Of course if we search now in Radio Israel archives we will not find any record for that news in 1995.

My only hope regarding this incident if it took place for real that someone in the Egyptian delegation would have the courage to say that it took place and Rabin admitted Israel’s responsibility for the murder of our POWs in 1956 and 1967

Thanks for Egyptian in France for the link

Dr.Cherif Bassiouni,The Man Who Wants Justice To Our 1956 POWs

Dr. Cherif Bassiouni is a well known name in the war crimes investigations after all  he was the man who headed the Chairman, of the Security Council’s Commission to Investigate Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Former Yugoslavia still it is unknown to most people that this man was behind the first Israeli confession of its kind : The murder of our POWs in the Suez war by the IDF.

Dr.Bassiouni
Dr.Bassiouni

In 1995 Maariv made an interview with Aryeh Biro , the former general and the so-called special force hero..etc in his house in Tel Aviv where he confessed that he killed Egyptian POWs in 1956 with no regret and this was just the surface for much deeper and darker war crimes as we all know

It turned out that Dr.Cherif had a very important role in this case , in fact the most important if I may say. The 1956 POWs case is a life case for Bassiouni who fought in the Suez War and when he knew about the POWs in 1967 he began to study our wars with Israel more and more. He chose the Suez war because he knew it well plus of course he lived it. For 20 years he began to search till he found out that the IDF had killed 41 military at the Metla path and 39 laborers 6 kilometers away from the path.

Dr.Cherif went to our minister of Foreign affairs then in 1995 Amr Moussa with huge file that could be the basis of a strong war crimes case , Moussa immediately took the file and Bassioui and met with President Mubarak who demanded an immediate action. Mubarak demanded late Rabin to investigate these claims ((as if Rabin would have done it)) but Rabin refused claiming that if Egypt officially opened its POWs rights, Israel would go and claim its POWs’ rights in 1973 ((nothing happened actually to their POWs in 1973 War)) and Clinton too had interfered in the matter causing it to be closed officially forever leaving for the citizens in front of the state’s courts as we all know.

This is Dr.Cherif’s testimony and I believe if we can contact the man again now , he will not refuse to help us as citizens to restore back our POWs rights even if we try and fail , trial is enough

Source : Al Masry Al Youm

Remembering the 25th of April

Today Egypt remembered the 25th of April which is known in our national calendar as the Sinai liberation day. Today from 28 years ago the Egyptian flag returned back to Sharm El-Sheikh leaving only Taba for a long legal international dispute between Egypt and Israel to be ended only after six years on the 26th of February 1989.

Remembering the 25th of April does not include remembering how the Sinai returned back to us whether through war or through peace or those great men who returned it back but all those men who gave their blood for Sinai whether as fighters or as POWs. God bless them all.

Sharm El-Sheikh was an early witness on one of the first recorded war crimes by the IDF against the Egyptians and also the earliest exposed massacres by the testimonies of the Israelis themselves. Of course unfortunately our regime does not care enough to restore back the rights of those who were killed in 1956.

Remembering the 1956 War POWs

Yesterday the world celebrated the Armistices day aka the remembrance day in several countries around the world like the UK and the States. Also in the Middle East Lebanese party and militia Hezbollah celebrated and remembered its men who were killed in action in the wars against the Israeli occupation to South Lebanon.

On this day I remember all the Egyptians who were killed and were captured during the 1956 Suez War especially in Port Said ; the great city which was nearly destroyed in the Anglo-French attack.

Also I will not ever forget those great Egyptian POWs who were slaughtered in a cold blood in Sharm Sheikh by the IDF.

I remember today our POWs in 1967 and 1973 too.

May be the government has forgotten our POWs , our heroes and our veterans but some of us have not forgotten them at all.

The Last 1956 Suez War POWs veterans dies

On Wednesday Mr. Abdel Samad Bally ,the last surviving 1956 Suez War POW has passed away in his village “Al Dibia” at Kafr Sheikh. He was 72 years old.

Mr. Bally had been suing the Israeli government since 2001 and the court ordered a compensation but unfortunately for unknown reason the Egyptian government appealed !!!

His son Mr. Khaled Bally is going to continue in the lawsuit,it was his father well.

The Israeli government was embarrassed from that particular case because it was thought that there were no living 1956 Egyptian POWs.

I feel sad for Mr. Bally, May God bless his soul, he died without receiving his right or even a recognition from his country !! I wish I know more about his story in captivity. I will try to find more information about him insh Allah (SWT).

RIP Mr. Bally

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