The POW Swap record between the Arabs and Israel “The Jewish Virtual library”

BBC Arabic published a very interesting report about the POWs Swap between the Arab and Israel since 1948. It comes as part of their coverage to the POWs Swap between Lebanon represented by Hezbollah and Israel from three week ago. Of course it is worth to say that the entire report is a complete translation to the Jewish Virtual library based on the IDF numbers and records and so it should not be trusted !!

The report which was translated by Shady El-Kashaf from Gaza traces back the most POWs Swap since the 1948 war,I will summarize it below till year 1967 because already I am having my doubts regarding some numbers concerning the Egyptian POWs , the report claims that the number of the Egyptian POWs were more than the Israeli POWs ,which is untrue according to my humble knowledge in 1973,also it did not mention the number of the Egyptian POWs that actually returned in 1967.

First of all you must know that several Arabic research centers say that Israel captured nearly 800,000 Palestinians and thousands of Arab civilians and soldiers POWs according to the official numbers since the beginning of the conflict where as the Arabic armies captured more than one thousand Israeli POWs not to mention the the Palestinian and Lebanese militias captured many Israelis whether dead or alive. As you can see with my all due respect ,on the contrary to the Israeli propaganda we lost more than they did according to the IDF numbers.

Second This is based on the official records , which means with Israel infamous record in human rights of Arab POWs you expect that there are thousands of Arab POWs who were killed and never found their ways to the records as numbers not even names.

Now the POW Swap started in 1948 between Egypt and Israel , then in 1968 for the first time Israel swapped its POWs with POWs from the PLO in the first recognition to this group and  the last one after 60 years in 2008 ironically was between Hezbollah representing Lebanon and Israel. 1948 then 1968 then 2008 , 8 is very special number far as I see.

Here is a history line to the POWs Swap:

  • Year 1948 :

After the war between the Arab armies and Israel , the Arabs captured a total of “885” Israeli POWs as follows : The Egyptian army “156” Israeli POWs , The Jordanian army “673” Israeli POWs , The Syrian army “48 Israeli POWs” and the Lebanese army “8 Israeli POWs where as the Israelis captured a total of “7116” Arab POWs !! They do not call it Nakba in the Arab world from nothing !! The Arab POWs were as follows: “5021” Palestinian POWs , “1098” Egyptian POWs, “57”Syrian POWs,”36″ Lebanese POWs,”28″ Saudi POWs, “25”Sudanese POWs,”24″ Yemeni POWs and “17” Jordanian POWs .

Israel swapped its POWs with each country alone. The first swap was with Egypt on 27/2/1949 in the famous Fallujah agreement then with Lebanon from 3/3/1949 till 4/4/1949 then the rest of the Arab countries involved. Syria was the last Arab country to swap POWs on the 21/9/1949

  • Year 1954 :

on 30/9/1954 Egypt captured 10 sailors from the ship “Bat Galim” in the Suez Canal,they were released according to the orders of the security council on 1/1/1955.

In December 1954 the Syrians captured 5 Israeli soldiers that were on a secret mission in the Golan heights, one of them “Uri Ilan ” committed suicide in his prison and his remains were sent back to Israel on the 14/1/1955. The other four were swapped for “41” Syrian POWs on 30/3/1956.

  • Year 1957 :

After the Suez War Egypt and Israel had POWs to be swapped.It started on the 21/1/1956 and ended on the 5/2/1956. Israel released “5000” Egyptian POWs for 4 Israeli POWs in the Egyptian Capture , of course there is no mention about the infamous massacre of Sharm El-Sheikh.

  • Year 1961

After the break of the Union ,on the 17/3/1961 the IDF Golani special forces made a military operation on the borders with Israel near Kibbutz “Ein Gev” where they captured two soldiers that were returned later.

  • Year 1963

Another swap operation between Syria and Israel on the 21/12/1963 , Syria released 13 Israeli POWs for 15 Syrian POWs

  • Year 1967

The mother of POWs problems and scandals not to mention defeats

The Arab armies and countries  involved in the war that time Egypt,Syria,Jordan,Lebanon and Iraq managed to capture only 15 Israeli POWs.

Egypt captured 11 Israeli POWs among them 6 Israeli marine commandos who were captured during a fiasco attack on the harbor of Alexandria , it is not our topic here but the one who caught them was actually a kid , it was a terrible operation by all means.

Then there were two pilots from the IAF and the rest were members in a spy ring.

Iraq captured two pilots who were targeting the airport H in west of Iraq ,those two were swapped for 428 Jordanian POWs !!

Syria Captured only one !!

Lebanon Captured only one !!

The IDF captured on other hand a total of 6708 Arab military and civilian , no order they killed our POWs when they thought that they were too much !!

The IDF captured civilians and military members ; here are the numbers for each country :

  • Egypt: 4338 soldiers and 899 civilians. “different from what is mentioned here
  • Jordan : 533 soldiers and 336 civilians.
  • Syria : 367 soldiers and 206 civilians.

The swap started on 15/6/1967 through the red cross and the UN and ended on the 23/1/1968.Jordan and Iraq were the first countries and Egypt was the last one.

Iraq swapped two Israeli IAF pilots Capt. Itzhak Glantz-Golan and Capt. Gideon Dror who attacked the H3 Air basese in West of Iraq for 428 Joranian POWs.

Syria swapped a pilot and 3 dead bodies for 572 Syrian POWs.

It is worth to mention that they only mentioned the number of the Israeli side captured from Egypt but they did not mention how many were exchanged for the Israeli POWs , the 11 POWs including the some member of Lavon terrorist espionage ring

  • Year 1968 :

Jordan on the 2/4/1968 Israel swapped 12 Jordanian POWs for a body of missing solider from the Karameh battle

Again I will stop here because the content of the blog here is concentrating on the 1956 and 1967 ,you can find the rest of the report in the link above

Were they Egyptians or Jordanians ??

Do you remember the mass grave for Muslims in Eilat last month ?? Already  the Defense and National security committee in the Egyptian assembly should have discussed it yesterday ,unfortunately there were no news regarding this discussion as yesterday the El-Malt’s CAO report was the main topic in the media for the last two days and seriously I have to say it was much important and it is expected to take all the attention whether from the media or the members of Parliament.

On the other hand there is a great historical debate about the mass grave and its location , also it is expected thing , Um Rashrash is already a center of debate of whether it is an Egyptian land or not .

The historical debate started when 1948 veteran , free officers movement member and military historian General Gamal Hamad said to Gamal Hamad Masrawy website that those remains are not for Egyptian officers and soldiers and there was no Egyptian Battalion in the Um Rashrash village in year 1949 and that they were for Jordanian battalion

We did not fight the Israelis in any battle in the Um Rashrash region. These remains could be for Jordanian officers and soldiers as this region was following the Jordan

Of course the old veteran and famous military historian had contradicts totally with what the Front for restoring Um Rashrash is saying , especially the front includes many historians and many military personalities like General Saad El-Din Shazaaly.

Still it is very easy to know to which army those people used to belong to , through photos of their military uniforms or the remains of their uniforms to be accurate , also through the photos and the Holy Quran found in the site, we can know in which country it was printed and thus it will be an evidence for us.

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Strangely there is no one from Jordan claimed that these were remains for Jordanian Battalion till now.

Anyhow whether they are Jordanians or Egyptians ,the war crime is still there ,  the evidence is still there.

The Parliament will discuss the Eilat Mass grave

The mass grave that was found in “Um Rashrash” at Eilat is believed by many parties in Egypt including military experts that it belongs to the Egyptian army officers and soldiers who were killed in the village in year 1949 in the “Operation Uvdah ((Established fact)) “ which was led by the current Israeli President Shimon Perez.

On the next 13th of January 2007, the Egyptian Parliament will discuss the case based on the request of PM “Talaat El-Sadat” ((The Nephew of late President Sadat)) , the request was a demand to the committee of the National security in the Egyptian assembly to discuss the findings of the mass grave as a possible mass grave for Egyptian soldiers and officers who were killed in 1949 in the Operation “Uvdah”. PM “El-Sadat” in statement for Al-Arabiya.net said that it is important that the Egyptian foreign ministry and other specialized official parties in Egypt to follow the case to know to whom this mass grave belongs to. He continued saying that he believed that the mass grave belongs to the Egyptian force that was in “Um Rashrash” when Perez and his Israeli force entered the village and that it would be easy to check from the names and the history of those 350 officers and soldiers from their family if the regime cooperated this time and did not act as in the Previous POWs case.

On the other hand the “People’s front to restore Um Rashrash” said that it owns historical documents that prove that this

I am happy that a man like “Talaat El-Sadat” is neglecting the issue like the rest of the PM , already “El-Sadat” discussed in the Parliament the POWs case and “UM Rashrash” case and currently “The people’s front to restore Um El-Rashrash” chose as a general secretary to the front which includes many public and military personalities including General Saad El-Shazely. The front believes that “Um Rashrash” village where the mass grave was found is originally an Egyptian land that Israel had occupied in 1949 and that it must return back immediately. Already the foreign ministry last year issued an official statement saying that “Um Rashrash” was under the Egyptian control only till 1906 when the Othman Empire along with Great Britain drew new maps for bordering that did not consider Um Rashrash an Egyptian land but Palestinian land. Of course the front denies this and saying that they own more than 700 historical documents that prove the Egyptian identity of the land even after 1907.

“Um Rashrash” is a big topic I would to discuss separately despite it is related historically with the Mass grave

Let’s hope that the National security committee reaches to some good decision and decide to investigate more

By the way I do not like this media official and unofficial media about the mass grave and the possibility that it can be for Egyptian soldiers

So the war crimes against our POWs did not start in 1956 but in 1948, well I changed the tagline of the website to include 1948 and insh Allah (SWT) I working on a section to include all the details of the Uvdah massacre because Uvdahs do not stay buried forever