Egyptian says witnessed Ben-Eliezer killing
Former Egyptian prisoner of war says Labor MK Ben-Eliezer killed two captive Egyptian soldiers for drinking water without his permission
An Egyptian man who was captured by Israeli troops during the 1967 Mideast war told the Gulf News website on Friday that he had witnessed Labor MK Benyamin Ben-Eliezer killing two Egyptian prisoners of war for "daring to quench their thirst without his permission".
"I was captured by the Israelis five days after the start of the June 5, 1967, war in central Sinai. (Israelis) rounded us up in an area called Al Husna in Sinai," Ameen Abdul Rahman, who served in the reconnaissance corps of the Egyptian army at the time, told Gulf News.
"It was very hot. We were thirsty. The Israelis ordered the detained Egyptian officers to gather near a water tank to drink from it. But when they did, the Israelis executed them with machine guns," he said.
"It was a bestial trick to physically liquidate them."
Abdul Rahman, who was detained by Israel for a year, accused Ben-Eliezer of shooting dead two Egyptian prisoners of war.
An Israeli TV documentary claiming that an Israeli battalion under Ben-Eliezer's command killed 250 Egyptian prisoners of war in 1967 angered many Egyptians.
Some Egyptian lawmakers called on the government to cancel the peace treaty with Israel.
Ben-Eliezer, who serves as the National Infrastructure Minister, had to cancel a trip to Egypt last week over fears for his safety. Lawmakers called for his arrest and trial for alleged war crimes.
"We were held in a makeshift detention camp surrounded by a barbed wire fence around which there was a ditch. We were so thirsty that we could no longer perspire. An idea flashed through my mind. I collected shoe laces from my colleagues to make a long thread which I tied to a military boot. I used the boot to bring water from the nearby ditch. Our captors, however, took notice of this and led us to the commander of the camp who happened to be Ben-Eliezer, who spoke Arabic in an Iraqi dialect.
"He shot in front of our eyes an Egyptian army captain and a soldier for arguing with him over water. I survived miraculously."
"The atrocities I saw are more chilling than this documentary," said Abdul Rahman, who has filed a suit against Ben-Eliezer and former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a Cairo court.