Ben-Eliezer and Mubarak in 2005

The infamous hero of Shaked affair, Ben-Eliezer passed away

On August 28, news came from Tel Aviv that former minister of defense and deputy prime minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had passed away at a medical center. The 80-years-old Israeli official was suffering from kidney disease.

A screen shot from Rush Shaked
A screen shot from Rush Shaked

The Iraqi-born Israeli official gained hate in Egypt when Israeli war documentary “The Shaked spirit” or “Rush Shaked” was aired on an Israeli TV channel in March 2007, including testimonies of military veterans in the Shaked unit he headed in 1967 on how they killed 250 Egyptian POWs near Egyptian-Palestinian borders.

In an alleged U.S confidential cable sent from the U.S embassy in Cairo to Washington on 7 March 2007, it was detailed how Ben-Eliezer cancelled his visit to Egypt over the anger of the government of Egypt as well the anger of media.

Interestingly, according to Ben-Eliezer’s Wikipedia page, the Egyptian General Intelligence service warned him of coming to Egypt during that time otherwise he could be arrested.

The public anger during then in Cairo forced the Egyptian People’s assembly summoned the minister of foreign affairs then Ahmed El-Ghait to investigate the matter.

The Egyptian ministry opened an investigation into the documentary vowing to take strong steps if proven the Israeli guilt. It also released the transcript of the documentary in Arabic

The statements of the videos were clear that Egyptian POWs were killed despite they were not holding any arms and they were hiding according to the transcript released by the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs to the Egyptian media in March.

In 2008, Ahmed El-Ghait stated that the investigation was still open till Israel would finish its investigation.

It is unclear to know the fate of the Egyptian investigations into the Rush Shaked documentary but Israel already made it clear that its veterans did not commit anything wrong as usual.

The Israeli ministry of foreign issued a statement in Arabic on March 7,2007 claiming that video stated those late Egyptian military were actually fighting combatants who had a battle and “both sides had battles and victims during that war”!!

The former Israeli minister of defense was proud of his very close friendship to Egypt’s ousted dictator and convicted ex-president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, a thing which brought to him criticism sometimes in Israeli media ironically after 2011.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer stated in August 2011 that he and current Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu offered political asylum to Mubarak and his family following his ouster but he declined because “he was patriot”.

Mubarak and Ben-Eliezer in Sharm El-Sheikh
Mubarak and Ben-Eliezer in Sharm El-Sheikh in January 2012. “Getty Images”

As a minister of infrastructure, Ben-Eliezer witnessed along with Mubarak in June 2005 the signing of a memorandum of understanding for supplying Israel with Egyptian national gas.

Mubarak’s long-time friend, Hussein Salem was the main Egyptian partner in this controversial deal.

Ben-Eliezer had a very legacy when it comes to Egypt and its POWs as Lebanon and its invasion and history won’t forget that.

History will also remember how the Mubarak’s administration had an opportunity to restore back some of the rights of the Egyptian POWs but it gave it up.

For Our POWs In 1973

Al Jazeera channel official website made a report about the Palestinian detainee , Mansour Mowqda who is currently jailed in Israel for murder an Israeli Veteran officer.

The story of Mansour started in early 2002 where he worked at a farmer that was owned by a veteran IDF officer , that officer one day bragged in front of Mansour on how he killed Egyptian POWs in Yom Kippur October war 1973, yes in Yom Kippur war.

Mansour told his family that the officer was speaking proudly on how the Egyptian soldiers were put under the tanks’ track to be squashed then later were buried in mass graves. He even told him that he killed the Egyptian officer who was in charge of  those soldiers with three gun shots then how he urinated over his body. Mansour could not keep his anger and killed that veteran officer/ war criminal.

Of course he was arrested later after being shot by dumdum bullets and was sentenced a life prison term. His injury went from bad to worse to worst as his lower part of his body is completely paralyzed.He had multiple major  surgeries and he needs huge medical care and attention.

The ministry of detainees affairs in the Palestinian authority’s lawyers failed in getting health parole for him yet managed to reduce his sentence from life sentence to 30 years !!

Still Mansour is being mistreated despite his illness and his disability in the prison and its hospital which are like a living hell. He does not receive the proper medical attention or care he should get. The Palestinian detainees who do not suffer from health problems already are suffering from the ill treatment in the Israeli prisons so you can imagine how people like Mansour suffer.

Mansour on his wheel chair

Mansour killed one person , a war criminal and he paid a very big price for it ; a price that I am afraid that war criminal did not pay when he killed our POWs in very cold blood.

Mansour should get a health parole , already I do not know what price he will pay more than what he is paying.

Now moving to the real war criminal here who was that veteran IDF officer , well I am not surprised at his claims in fact it is well known fact the IDF used to execute our Egyptian POWs using tanks’ tracks to save bullets and time !! That disgusting Nazi technique was used in 1967 widely across Sinai especially in Al Arish whose people remember that fearful scene of tanks moving over human beings and how that scene was directed by Ariel Sharon !!  They had done it in 1967 and so I would not be surprised that they used it in 1973.

I want to help Mansour but I feel that I am helpless , all what I can do is to write this post.

Source : Al Jazeera Net (Arabic)

POW Mohamed Hosni Mubarak

Many Egyptians know that President Hosni Mubarak had a cameo in an old black and white Egyptian film in 1950s  but most Egyptians ignore the fact that President Mubarak was captured as a POW in a war. Contrary to what you may think he was not captured as a POW in our wars 1956 and 1967 , President Mubarak was captured in the Sand war between Morocco and Algeria in  1963.

During that war Egypt was supporting Algeria against Morocco politically and militarily , it is not clear up till now the participation of Mubarak and whether he was transferring weapons or he was leading a squad of Egyptian and Algerian pilots , probably the later story is the correct one as it is supported by the Moroccans themselves.  Lieutenant Hosni Mubarak and his group were captured in Moroccan Aïn Chouatèr area .

As soon as notorious general Mohamed Oufkir knew about the capture of Egyptian and Algerian pilots , he ordered their immediate transfer to Marrakech for interrogation otherwise he would cut off the head of his officers !! God only knows what those young men had seen on the hand of that man. In the same year King Hassan exchanged our POWs in president Nasser’s presence at the African summit in Bamako.

This story found its way again after long time of neglect in 2009 when Moroccan newspaper Al Alam published an interview with the man who captured a man who became the president of the powerful Arab country in the world. In 2009 Moroccan Pilot Saleh Hashad spoke about the incident breifly on Al Jazeera channel.

There is no clear reason why this has not been mentioned in our official media or in Mubarak’s official biography despite the facts the Moroccans do not hide it and we have good relations with them and President Sadat who preceded President Mubarak was in jail in twice for two grave charges and he did not hide at all. Some people claimed that this incident did not find its way to the Egyptian public because the regime loves to hide the Nasserite regime mistakes which is untrue because during the Sadat’s era we knew much more grave mistakes and sins the Nasser regime had committed against the Egyptian and Arabic public.

The capture period is very hard for any solider and God only knows what Mubarak and his follow Egyptian pilots had seen on the hands of General Oufkir till their return back to Cairo so it is natural that that experience had left its remarks on Mubarak and re-shaped even on a little scale part of his personality. President Mubarak as a human knows very well what it means to become a POW and and how it feels to fear on your life and your constant wonder on whether you will return home or not ; this is why it is shocking to know how the Mubarak regime is treating our 1956 and 1967 POWs file.

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.

Al Jazeera International’s First Person:Egyptian POWs

This old video below goes back to 2007 in the 40th anniversary of the Six Days war and it shows  Ex-Sergeant Amin Ramadan who speaks about his experience in captivity at notorious Atlit along his friend and co-worker for 40 years Goma’a Hassan who is still suffering from physical injury hunting him down since the Atlit days. I talked about this video in 2007 as a report that was published in Al Jazeera international , I did not know that it was based upon a video that aired on the channel but it is never too late.

Ramadan and Gomaa

Ramadan who has become a kind of an activist for the 1967 POWs , is already suing the Israeli government among others for a just compensation on what they have seen and suffered on the hands of the IDF in 1967. His testimony is from the important living testimonies that prove the involvement of Ben-Eliezer in the mistreatment and abuse of our POWs against international laws.

Huge Difference

One may wonder how the Egyptians treated Israeli POWs , Maj. Gen. Hassan Al-Gandali, a former chief of operations of the Egyptian army, said there were a number of Israeli POWs in Egyptian camps in 1973. “We were very much concerned about their welfare, though we were aware of the way the Israelis had dealt with our POWs under their custody,” Hassan said.

“As I was the chief of operations, I accompanied Egyptian Defense Minister Musheer Ahmad Ismail to the camp in which Col. Esaf Yagouri and 150 prisoners were kept. On seeing us the prisoners looked so terrified as they seemed to think that we were going to send them to the firing squad in return for what Israel had done to the Egyptian POWs in the past. On the other hand, Musheer told them that he did not blame them for obeying the orders of their superiors though it was to occupy a territory belonging to another country. ‘However, you will be treated in line with the Geneva Conventions. So you have nothing to worry about,’ Musheer said.

“Then he asked the commander of the camp about the sick POWs and took special care of them. He also ordered the camp commander to take the POWs for sightseeing in Cairo, including a trip to the pyramids and a boat ride on the Nile. After a few moments of disbelief the prisoners broke into a deafening applause. This is how the Egyptians treat their prisoners of war.”

From Israel’s Hush-Up Machine in Action : Denying story Israel executed Egyptian prisoners.

This is for those who wonder how things would be they were the other way around !!

Of course for those who may disbelieve Major General Al-Gandali I would like them to read the comment of Mr. Eran Jacoby

Nawara Negm speaks about POWs

It is not the first time that Nawara Negm speaks about POWs especially now after Dostor report about Our POWs mass graves , already she criticized Rosa Al Youssef Chief in editor Abdullah Kamal for his cold inconsideration and disrespect to our POWs but this time she speaks about the undeniable evidences on these war crimes above them the Israeli confessions themselves on Video.

Tomorrow insh Allah (SWT) Dostor will continue its follow up for the report , already there is on going campaign being prepared currently to raise the matter to international and local courts.

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

A Testimony of an Ex-POW Called Fouad Hegazy

Egyptian writer Fouad Hegazy is known to be the first one to write about his experience as an Egyptian POW  in Atlit prison. His book “The POWs build barricades” was from first novels to speak about that sad and terrible experience. Mr. Hegazy had a political activity before the six days war and he is considered  from the most active writers and novelists from outside

The POWs build barricades
The POWs build barricades

Cairo and Alexandria. He is originally from Mansoura and God knows that this man is behind the reason of having this website, he was the one who introduced me through his interview with Mona El-Shazely two years as far as I remember to the forgotten suffering of our POWs.His description to how our Egyptian POWs died while being transferred by train to Atlit reminded me with Schindler’s list film train scene.

Recently this year Dar-Shorouk published a new edition from his novel “The POWs build barricades” which was first published in Cairo in 1976. He had written this novel and finished in 1968 right after his return from Atlit.

The name of the novel itself is inspired by the famous events that took place on the night of 27th of Ramadan I believe where there was huge mutiny in the prison that put Atlit, the city itself in high alert status.

This novel was translated in to English and Russian and I am currently searching for these foreign translations. It was also used in PHD thesis in Sweden.

Now I have added Mr.Hegazy’s testimony to our Egyptian testimonies.I recommend please to read it and spread it because it is very important.He was captured by the Israelis on the very first day of the war, and remained a prisoner for eight months. This testimony will give a little hint about the Israeli death camp aka Atlit

Were They Collected As Trophies From Murdered POWs ??

Nobody saw this coming nor expected something similar like this to happen , as a son of a late Israeli paratrooper decided to return back the ID and letters his dad collected from the dead Egyptian soldiers and officers in  the six days war to the families of those soldiers and officers. He decided to give them back to Yedoit Ahronot to help him in locating the relatives and relatives of these soldiers and officers “where is our embassy??”   Theses families and relatives  have been awaiting for 42 years to know anything about their men who went to that war and never came back.These souvenirs were telling the story from the other side according to the newspaper which gave me the impression that they do not consider us as humans who have a life too !!!?

The souvenirs include IDs,photos,permissions, letters and diaries of soldiers and officers on the front you can see them below here

Here are the names of these late officers and soldiers God bless their souls mentioned in the report :

  1. Ali Hassan Ali , a solider from Cairo who was born in 1905 and used to work as a conductor
  2. Fathi Abdel Khalek Shahin from Sharkia , who owned a pastry shop and was a musician at the same time ; Mr.Shahin was ready to sing in weddings and parties.
  3. Hassan Salim Agowa , a solider who took a leave from the base from 30/4/1967 to 1/5/1967 ; a very short leave indeed
  4. EAF officer Mohamed Ibrahim who took a leave and returned back to his fate.
  5. Soldier Mahmoud Ibrahim , No. 904841 in in unit 451031 who used to write his memories where he said that his unit captured 8 IDF soldiers
  6. Galal Said Abdel Hamid from Ismailia who lived at no.5 at the Plage street
  7. Mahmoud Abed

Yedoit Ahronot published this as a special report and I do not know if they expect  the level of controversy they will create back in Egypt as this report , these souvenirs will open the door of the Egyptian POWs files again and thank God they will do it.

Some people including me believe that these souvenirs were taken from Egyptian murdered POWs and this is because some reasons :

1- The newspaper for some unknown reason did not identify the name of the Israeli paratrooper nor his son , only “Y” ; why are they afraid from mentioning his full name ?? Already I believe we should thank the son of Mr. “Y” for his desire to return those stuff to where they do really belong !!??

The fact that they hid his name and the name of his family not to mention the detail of his father’s military background as which battalion he used to be at .. etc except that he is a paratroop raises many questions.

2- The father wanted to return these stuff to Egypt for decades but he was afraid and I only wonder the reason behind; why he was afraid from returning back these stuff to the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv ; was he afraid from accountability and that our diplomats may ask questions on how he got them other than he took from dead Egyptians.

3- Some people believe that Mr. Y, the father was a member in Shaked battalion but I doubt it because Shaked was not the only battalion that killed our POWs. Also if he were from Shaked battalion I would bet that these souvenirs would have been destroyed by now to protect Ben Elizer from any accountability.

4-The father said nothing to his son about the circumstance of the fights

The son of that paratrooper decided to return back these Egyptian collectibles  after the death of his father by a year and half.

I believe the least thing our embassy in Tel Aviv must do is to restore these items immediately and return back to rightful owners, we need to have them back. I do not even dare to ask them to investigate who that Mr. Y was !!

P.S Al Shorouk Newspaper is calling the families of these men in the photos to contact the newspaper and share their stories.