Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Photo: API
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
MK Benyamin Ben-Eliezer
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Mubarak says war criminals will be punished

Following controversy surrounding ‘Shaked Spirit’ documentary, Egyptian president says country will take necessary steps to ensure perpetrators of ‘war crimes’ don’t escape punishment

In his first comments on the frenzy caused by the Israeli documentary, "Shaked Spirit", Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that his county would take any steps necessary to ensure that those carrying out the "war crimes" would not go unpunished.


The film in question suggested that soldiers of the Shaked Reconnaissance Unit, under the command of Binyamin Ben Eliezer, may have killed 250 Egyptian unarmed captives at the end of the Six-day war.


In an interview to Egyptian newspaper Akhbar al-Yom on Saturday, Mubarak said, "We never have and never will take our sons' and martyrs' rights lightly. We will realize our legitimate rights and take any steps necessary, that is if the allegations of the killing of Egyptian captives during the 1967 war are proven true. However, we must verify the information by anyone who was affected by the incident."


Mubarak continued to say that "the blood of our fallen cannot be taken lightly."


According to a report on Friday by the Gulf News, 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.


Abdul Rahman, who was detained by Israel for a year, accused Ben-Eliezer of shooting dead two Egyptian prisoners of war.


According to Mohammad Abdul Tawab, another Egyptian soldier captured on June 7, 1967, the Israelis ordered them to sleep on top of each other in hangars at Al Arish Airport in Sinai.


"Seventy died of asphyxia. They were buried in holes covered with quicklime. About 400 injured POWs were buried alive in those holes, too," he told Gulf News.


The controversy in Egypt sparked by the Israeli documentary, has failed to die down even after a meeting between Foreign Minster Tzipi Livni, and her Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Brussels nearly two weeks ago.


Due to the enduring tensions, a visit to Cairo by Ben-Eliezer, now the National Infrastructure minister, was postponed. The minister was supposed to meet with Egyptian Intelligence Head Omar Suleiman.


פרסום ראשון: 03.17.07, 13:44
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