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.

When people remembered the Egyptian POWs once again in Tiran

It has been awhile , it has been a lot of time. Just as one would think that the case of the Egyptian POWs is fading away with all what is going in Egypt from political changes, the case returns back in the most unexpected way.

In the past two months, there has been a huge controversy about the Egyptian Saudi deal to redraw the maritime borders. According to that deal , the Egyptian government gave up Tiran and Sanafir isles in Tiran strait to Saudi Arabia.

There has been a lot of debate as you may have known. Many Egyptians as well political figures, powers and parties rejected the deal. The deal is being disputed in front of the Administrative court and it is expected to be discussed by the Egyptian House of Representatives according to Constitution.

Now as there is a huge debate currently in Egypt about whether the two Red Sea isles are Egyptians of not, people began to share maps, legal documents and testimonies on how Egyptian soldiers were stationed on those two islands and that those soldiers did not fight for a foreign territory.

Yes , Egyptian soldiers were stationed on those two islands and according to a photo that had been found in Getty Archives those Egyptian soldiers were captured by Israeli forces at Tiran Isle in June 1967.  (more…)

A footage from Israel as a reminder

Do you remember Israeli “This is us” documentary which included a very rare footage for Egyptian POWs mistreated during their capture by IAF in Al Arish in June 1967 !?

In 2012 we had only 2 minutes only from that documentary directed by Eric Bernstein , well there are more two extra minutes from the same documentary.


The extra minutes show the humiliation of the Egyptian POWs in 1967 forced to be in their underwear.It is very sad footage as well important one.It was filmed at the same location I believe that photo was taken

Egyptian POWs in Al Arish June 1967
Egyptian POWs in Al Arish June 1967

 

The Egyptian #POWs in #1973 : The Thunderbolt POWs Massacre

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.

(more…)

Al Masry Al Youm Reopens the Egyptian POWs file in North Sinai

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.

The remains of Egyptian POWs in North Sinai
The remains of Egyptian POWs in North Sinai "Al Masry Al Youm"

(more…)

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

Wael Mmdouh : Wait For More

I did a quick online interview with Egyptian journalist Wael Mmdouh who re-opened again the Egyptian POWs file in the Egyptian media in a way like no other. I asked him several questions about his report and he was kindly enough to answer my questions.

Egyptian POWs.net:  what made you search for the mass graves of the Egyptian POWs in this way that one has ever done and that was the beginning of the interview??

Journalist Wael Mmdouh
Journalist Wael Mmdouh

At first I was not sure that I was going to find mass grave like I have done, I only wanted to prove that these mess graves do exist; through research and the cooperation of the locals I was able to be sure completely that there are mass graves and thus I started to take this lead with the help of some of the locals; I also looked for eye witnesses to tell me the circumstance of the POWs murder and its right time and date.

Egyptian POWs.net: Did you meet any difficulties while talking with the locals??

Of course I did meet several difficulties while talking with the locals in the area , especially it is a desert area that does not accept strangers easily which made even harder ; the people there do not accept to speak with strangers easily and they never trust them at all.

At the end I was able to find some locals who had strong relations with eyes witnesses and those took care to win the confidence of the people there and assuring that I only seek the truth and that no names would be mentioned if requested and that what happened.

Still despite all this we met difficulties, for instance after agreeing with one of the sources near the Halal mount to speak and after long time in the way to get him, we found him refusing to speak to us ; I had to thank him in the end despite I could not document his testimony nor did he guide us to that mass grave “which is the biggest” between the mass graves I found yet this did not stop me to search for the rest mass graves and find them in the end besides documenting the witnesses’ testimonies.

Egyptian POWs.net: Did the security or the official authorities stand against the research or there was not an interest or completely absence!!??

This did not happen because I took my precautions in order to finish my reportage without the knowledge of the authorities and this is better because I can’t be their reaction for reportage like this; the authorities did not know about my reportage except when it was published.

Egyptian POWs.net: What was your feeling when you hold the bones of our POWs in your hand??

Frankly I can’t describe my feeling then, it was so difficult that you can imagine and it is enough to say that I stop working and speaking after burying the bones that appeared in the video. I could not continue working; I did not say one single word except after leaving the middle zone.

Egyptian POWs.net: Why did not you show the complete video especially in the mass graves in Dostor Channel??

It was for technical reasons, as YouTube does not allow long news material or documentaries, still it was required to be a short news report to support the story with photos and videos. I recorded long interviews but it would take long time to upload and download which will be bad for the readers. Already there is an idea to produce a long documentary with the testimonies and footage for the mass graves.

Egyptian POWs.net: Are there more pictures for the mass graves??

Yes there are more photos that will be published later in Dostor newspaper and its official websites for the sites as a follow up.

Besides there is a file from audio testimonies and photos currently prepared to help the legal committee which is being formed by Ambassador Ibrahim Youssry currently in order to sue the Israeli war criminal in the coming days.

Egyptian POWs.net: Has there been any official reaction you knew about regarding this reportage??

Officially there has been no reaction as if this reportage were published in another country, as if these soldiers were not Egyptians but off the record I know from personal sources that there are Egyptian Israeli moves to absorb the situation and not to escalate it like the gas issue, well I hope they fail.

Egyptian POWs.net: Will there be new material added to the report??

Of course there will be more to be revealed in the coming days especially the reportage was met with huge successful as I got many phone calls from people who want to document their testimonies and the physical evidences they have concerning the occupation era, this besides the people of Rafah, Sheikh Zowaid and on the borders villages who wanted to talk about the mass graves they found and feared to talk about. I think this report will continue and I will discover through it the biggest number of Israeli crimes to be documented.

Egyptian POWs.net: Did you document any of the sites on maps like Google maps??

It has not been done yet but I have the coordination of the middle zone on paper maps in order to prepare more precise maps to include the new cemeteries in the coming days.

The Black Zone

Dostor weekly today published their big report about the mass graves of our POWs in Sinai today and from here I would like to thank  journalist  Wael Mamdouh for his time and effort in  doing such great report alone , Mamdouh has already done something I always wanted to do and still want to , to take my camera and record by word , picture and video these mass graves to prove to our just case.

Dostor newspaper has put the government or rather the regime in to a corner and unfortunately I think the regime will ignore the whole matter again because of many reasons most of us know , this report I believe is just like these reports in the media that prove the failure of this regime on every single level.

Back to the Dostor report , you can find it here in Arabic . The report is about the massacres that happened against our officers and soldiers on the 5th and 6th of June 1967 in Al Arish valley area or as it was known then as the “First Defense Line”or as it is known to the locals there now “The Black Zone”

The report includes testimonies from the locals and one of the Egyptian POW survivors who escaped death in 1967 , this besides the photos and the video from the mass graves themselves showing the bone.

Stay tuned for more coverage insh Allah (SWT) , please spread this post

The Real Headline of The Week

After few hours Dostor Weekly issue will hit the newsstand with a new scoop that probably will cause a lot of stir in the Egyptian-Israeli relations. Dostor will publish astonishing details about a new POW mass grave found in Sinai supported by video and photos.

According to OnTv’s “headline” show  this mass grave is in the middle zone of Sinai. The middle zone of Sinai if I am not mistaken is at the Metla passages , already this is a strategic military zone in Sinai.
Wait for more coverage insh Allah (SWT).

I do not know yet the details and the background of this mass grave but I know that this area was badly damaged in the heavy rains that hit Sinai from couple of months ago so may be these heavy rains were not a curse but rather a bless as they revealed a hidden crime under the sand after all those decades.

Wait for more coverage insh Allah (SWT)

Update

Here is the episode of “Headline” show discussing the Egyptian POW mass graves found in Sinai with Egyptian journalist Wael Mamdouh of Dostor.Unlike what I though earlier these mass graves were not newly found , they have been known all the time by the locals in Sinai as they used to bury our men properly after the departure of the murderers. Wael Mamdouh documented everything including the remains of the POWs cloths found in the scene and kept by the locals besides their testimonies. Until this moment the locals there know the names of the officers who committed these crimes and are ready to testify against them.

A very interesting piece of information Mamdouh found in his research that the Israelis did not care that much to hide their crimes against our POWs in Sinai because they thought that Sinai would be theirs forever but after the 1973 war and also during the Camp David negotiations they began to fear that their crimes with their hard evidence would be exposed and thus they found a way to hide it, they planted landmines in the big cemeteries !!

This is just the start

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.