Egypt has recently expressed outrage at Israel because of the possibility that IDF soldiers murdered Egyptian POWs during the Six Day War.
Now, Israeli military historian Aryeh Yitzhaki wants to remind Egypt that they do not have an innocent reputation for their treatment of prisoners. He approached the Egyptian diplomatic delegation in Israel with a demand that they investigate the alleged murder of 110 Israeli POWs during the Yom Kippur war.
Yitzhaki is demanding that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak set up a committee to investigate the alleged murder of 110 Israeli war prisoners taken captive by Egyptian troops during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Last Friday he sent a letter to the acting Egyptian ambassador in Israel asking that the incident be investigated. In his letter, Yitzhaki wrote that he was in the possession of testimony and detailed data regarding the murders.
He wrote: “The soldiers underwent barbaric abuse as POWs and those who were not murdered suffered irreversible emotional damage.” Yitzhaki, who investigated the war while in the IDF history department, claimed in the letter: “Most atrociously, in a number of cases, commendations were issued to the murderers for their crimes.”
In his letter, Yitzhaki demanded that the Egyptian president instruct the establishment of an investigative committee into the affair that would relay its findings to the general prosecutor and put the war criminals on trial. In an addendum, Yitzhaki wrote that in the first two days of the Yom Kippur War, several dozen soldiers from Battalion 68 of the Jerusalem Brigade who were at the Bar-Lev line strongholds fell into captivity.
He said that 25 of them were murdered by officers and soldiers from Division 18 of the Egyptian infantry and by Brigade 135 of the Egyptian army. He said that they were all murdered after surrendering, their arms were taken from them and they were bound. He also makes the accusation that later the Egyptians abused the bodies.
In another affair, Yitzhaki says that the commander of the Second Army, Louai Maamoun, was among those responsible for the murder of soldiers who were taken captive in the Mitzuri compound as well as all the murders in the northern sector of the fighting.
Yitzhaki is basing his accusations on documentation that he has collected over ten years, in addition to testimony gathered by an Israeli non-profit organization that handles all the POWs not initially recognized by the Israeli Defense Ministry as suffering from trauma as a result of falling into captivity.
“I decided to do something for all those Israeli soldiers who were heinously murdered by the Egyptians and therefore I sent the letter to the acting Egyptian ambassador in the hope that I would receive from them a response to the data I have,” said Yitzhaki.