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December 14, 1973 - Image 54

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-12-14

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54—Friday, Dec. 14, 1973


Egypt Charged With Murder, Torture of Israeli POWs

—Israeli Ambassador Yosef
Tekoah personally submitted
to Secretary General Kurt
Waldheim Monday a copy of
the complaint the Israeli gov-
ernment had lodged with the
International Red Cr o s s
charging crimes of murder,
torture, brutality and degra-
dation committed on Israeli
soldiers taken prisoner by
Egypt during the October war
and subsequently during their
period of captivity in October
and November.
The document states that
the investigation now being
conducted by Israeli authori-
ties into the treatment of the
Israeli POWs "has already
revealed a shocking chroni-
cle of inhuman acts of cruel-
ty perpetrated on the Israeli
soldiers who were taken cap-
tive by units of the Egyptian
army — deeds unimaginable
in relations between civilized
It promised that "addition-
al reports and evidence will
be transmitted to the Inter-
national Committee of the
Red Cross in due course."
According to the complaint,
the Israeli government "is in
the possession of proven evi-
dence indicating beyond any
doubt that a large number
of officers and men of the Is-
rael Defense Forces taken
prisoner by Egyptian troops
were deliberately murdered,
many of them while lying
wounded and helpless."
Israel charged furthermore
that "the many instances of
murder, acts of brutality and
calculated humiliation are
the result of a planned policy
of the Egyptian authorities."
The document cited 'a mes-
sage to Egyptian soldiers
from the Egyptian Chief of
Staff, Gen. Saad al Shazli,
contained in a pocket booklet
distributed to the men which
said in part, "Kill them
wherever you find them and
be careful that they do not
trick you, for they are a peo-
ple of deceivers, pretending
to surrender so that they
may overcome you and kill
you easily. Kill them and do
not show any pity or mercy."
The Israeli complaint doc-
ument cited specific instances
of the murder of Israeli sol-
diers who had surrendered.
One case described nine Is-
raeli soldiers lying wounded
and helpless who were shot
to death in cold blood after
indicating "in the clearest
possible way their intention
to surrender."
In another instance, "Egyp-
tian soldiers went up to the
(captured) soldiers lying on
the ground and stabbed them
with their bayonets, killing
the wounded among them."
The Israeli document cited
testimony from returned

POWs of "incessant tortures
and humiliation which were
the lot of the Israeli prisoners
of war throughout the dura-
tion of their captivity. All of
them report that, notably dur-
ing the early part of their
captivity, they were most
cruelly beaten all over their
bodies . . ."
"The unbridled savagery
of the Egyptian soldiers is
seen more than anything else
in the fact that they made a
point of assaulting wounded
prisoners more than the oth-

ers," the Israeli document
"Many of the returned Is-
raeli prisoners of war have
testified that Egyptian sol-
diers kicked them cruelly on
their open wounds and even
spat on them instead of ban-
daging them.
"When the captives finally
reached prisons in Egypt,
their Egyptian jailers made a
point of competing with each
other in inventing acts of bru-
tality and humiliation such as
forcing the prisoners of war

to kneel on the floor of the
prison and lick it with their I
tongues, or urinating into the
palms of their hands.
"The following is a repre-
sentative sample of the acts
of brutality and degradation
as related by the returning
prisoners of war."
"The Israeli prisoners of
war were beaten over all
parts of their bodies with any
weapon that came to hand,
from rifle butts to clubs,
whips and palm branches.
Many of the returnees still

bear marks of the beatings
on their bodies, despite the
long period of time that has
passed since then. A particu-
larly favored means used by
the Egyptian jailers was the
beating of the prisoners of
war over their heads and on
the soles of their feet with
rubber truncheons.
"The Egyptian jailer s
made a practice of putting
out the stubs of their cigar-
ettes on the necks and backs
of the prisoners of war. Some
of them would order the

U.S., Russia Pressure Syria to List Israeli Prisoners;
Hussein Agrees to Palestinian Role at Parley

JERUSALEM (JTA)- has withdrawn his demand sirous tha t the conference
There is optimism here that that only Jordan represent I take place and not be "tor-
very strong pressure by both West Bank Palestinians. This pedoed" at the last moment.
Washington and Moscow will had been a condition for Jor- Their sole auspices with the
force Syria to comply with dan's participation in the U.S. gives them political
Israel's insistence on the re- Geneva talks.
weight which they — like the
lease of a list of prisoners
The sources said that Hus- Americans—will not want to
of war before any negotia- sein has now agreed to attend share with W a I d h e i m,
tions will take place in Gen- even if the Palestine Libera- Europe, or the Third World.
eva Tuesday.
tion Organization is there. Israel is applying its best
The Israel government said
The opening session will brains to the task of prepar-
Monday that Damacus would last three days, and all par- ing for the conference.
have to submit a POW list ticipants will deliver general Sever a 1 "think tanks"
and permit Red Cross rep- addresses outlining their po- made up of top civilian and
r e s en t a t i v es to visit the sitions. Israeli sources cau- military persons are in op-
POWs. tion that the picture emerg- eration with the task of pre-
Foreign Min is t e r Abba ing from this opening session senting to the government a
Eban, in an official state- will inevitably be one of a cogent list of the options
ment Wednesday, reiterated very wide gulf between Arab open to Israel on all of the
the Israel government's re- and Israeli positions — and issues likely to arise at the
fusal to sit at the peace con- they warn against feelings of conference.
ference with Syria until the hopelessness as a result.
Their data will be the basis
POW condition is met.
The substative negotiations of Israel's bargaining posi-
Eban sought to damp down will not begin till January— tions and final positions on
speculation which arose of although the issue of disen- each of the issues, to be
dispute between him and De- gagement might well be worked out by the govern-
fense Minister Moshe Dayan tackled immediately after the ment. The "think .tank" par-
on Israel's position on this opening session. If that is the participants wlil not offer
ease, then Gen. Aharon Yariv recommendations_ of their
Dayan Tuesday -declared will accompany Israel's mis- own, it was ttressed here.
Israel would not attend the sion and will lead those talks
The target date for com-
Geneva conference if Syria once again.
pletion of their task is early
refused to issue lists of
Egypt is demanding that January. Israel expects no
POWs and to allow visits.
the conference be held under substantive matters to be
Dayan who returned from UN auspices—not under the taken up at Geneva before
a brief visit to the U.S. Mon- joint U.S.-Soviet auspices or- then, inasmuch as all of the
day morning, said the POW iginally intended by Secre- parties recognize tacitly that
exchange itself was not a stary of State Henry Kis- Israel cannot negotiate such
precondition to peace talks singer and Soviet Party Chief matters until after its general
with Syria — only the lists Leonid Brezhnev. Kissinger election Dec. 31.
and visits were.
in his oral invitation to Is-
Foreign Minister Ebba
He said he knew that U.S. rael spoke of UN Secretary- Eban indicated that he will
Secretary of State Henry A. General Kurt Waldheim's head the Israeli delegation to
Kissinger, with whom he met "participation."
Friday in Washington, would
Egypt seeks UN auspices
Participants in the "think
raise the issue when he visits to give greater influence to tanks" include senior officials
its friends in Europe and of the foreign ministry and
Dayan . said the Syrians Afro-Asia. For Israel, in its the prime minister's office
murdered Israeli POWs in present state of diplomatic and top military intelligence
42 attested cases, some of isolation, any addition to the officers. Their work is being
them long after the fighting U.S.-Soviet auspices would coordinated by Mordechai
ended and some of them only be an undesirable addi- Gazit, director general of the
wounded prisoners. Day an tion.
prime minister's office who
claimed there were 24 attest-
Waldheim is expected to is one of Premier Golda
ed cases of POWs murdered leave for Geneva this week- Meir's closest aides.
by the Egyptians. (Israel's end in preparation for the
Another key figure is Prof.
first complaint, filed with the conference. To date, there Yuval Neeman, president of
Red Cross Sunday, mention- has been no official word as Tel Aviv University, who has
ed 28 cases.)
to the exact nature of Wald- been enlisted as a special
Sources in Amman said heim's participation.
assistant to the chief of mili-
Tuesday that King Hussein
Informal consultations are tary intelligence.
taking place between mem-
Mapam leader Yaacov Ha-
bers of the Security Council zan said Monday night that
with regard to the Geneva the party would back the
conference. Waldheim him- government at the Geneva
TEL AVIV (JTA)—Israel learned Sunday that it
self is continuing his meet- conference and predicted that
suffered higher casualties in the Yom Kippur War
ings with diplomats on the its outcome would be an ac-
than previously announced.
Middle East situation. In re- ceptable compromise.
Gen. Herzl Shafir, head of the manpower division
cent days he has met with the
The government will go to
at general headquarters, released a revised casualty
UN ambassadors of Israel, Geneva with a maximalist
list showing 2,412 dead-558 above the 1,854 known
Egypt and the Soviet Union. position but will gradually
dead announced a month ago.
Observers here believe that give up ground and stand on
The new casualty list includes soldiers originally
the firm U. S. stance ul- a plan very close to Mapam's
presumed missing and now definitely known to be
timately will ensure that the peace plan, Hazan told a
dead; wounded soldiers who succumbed to their
conference takes place in its meeting of the Kibutz Artzi
wounds since the first casualty list was announced;
originally intended format, executive at Ein Hamifratz.
and 57 soldiers killed on the ceasefire lines since hos-
and that Egypt eventually
The Mapam kibutz move-
tilities officially ended in mid-October.
will relent in its demands. A ment voted 47-0 in favor of
Israel originally had listed 508 soldiers missing in
key role in persuading Egypt the resignation of Defense
the Yom Kippur War. That list was reduced Sunday
will, of course, be played by Minister Moshe Dayan. There
by 293 names added to the list of dead on the basis of
the Soviets.
were 23 abstentions. Hazan's
eye-witness accounts by fellow soldiers and other evi-
The observers feel that at colleague, Mapam veteran
dence. The remaining 215 on the missing list includes
present at least the Soviets Meir Yaari, claimed that
102 soldiers missing on the Syrian front.
are. showing themselves de- Dayan alone could not be

2,412 Israelis Killed

.4 • •





blamed for mistakes by the
He said Deputy Premier
Yigal Allon was no more a
dove than Dayan and that the
Allon Plan was not calculat-
ed to bring peace with the
Arabs. The movement agreed
to back Premier Golda Meir,
though with reservations and
on condition that she not re-
appoint Dayan when she
forms a new government
after the Dec. 31 elections.
Mapam is a member of Mrs.
Meir's Labor alignment.
While calling on Dayan to
resign in acknowledgment of
the mistakes for which he
was responsible, Hazan said
Mapam itself was not blame-
less for the situation that
existed before the Yom Kip-
pur War. "We lived as if
there was no tomorrow," he
told his colleagues.
"We let ourselves deal with
marginal problems and tried
to forget that the Arab world
wants to destfox, Israel."
Hazan added, however, that
even while the conflict with
the Arabs continues, "We
shall continue to believe in
ultimate Arab-Jewish peace."
Kissinger, French Minister
at Odds Over U.S. Action
impromptu press conference
Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of
State Henry A. Kissinger
said he did not justify Amer-
ica's Mideast policy at the
winter meeting of the NATO
foreign ministers.
"I did not come here to
seek European economic
community support of Amer-
ica's policy in the Mideast ...
We have always supported
the UN Security Council Res-
olution (242), and our policy
has always consisted of aid-
ing the parties to the con-
flict in reaching a lasting
peace," he said.
During the NATO meeting
Monday Kissinger said Amer-
ica's policy during the recent
Mideast war resulted in a
military and political atmos-
phere conducive to a fair
peace setlement. The settle-
ment will preserve Western
influnce in the Middle East,
he said.
French Foreign Minister
Michel Jobert, ho w e v e r,
sharply disagreed over U.S.
action in the Middle East
crisis. Jobert strongly con-
demned what he called Amer-
ica's failure to consult with
its European partners before
calling a worldwide alert of
its armed forces.
Observers here said that
Kissinger was concerned that
the current dissension in the
Atlantic Alliance might harm
the West's position at the
Geneva Conference and per-
haps strengthen the Arab po-

prisoners of war to kneel on
th ground and would then sit
on their sholders and order
them to crawl the length of
the room with their jailers
astride them.

"Another system of torture
used by the jailers was to
perform their bodily func-
tions on the faces and hands
of the prisoners of war. On
several occasions they pre-
vented the prisoners of war
from performing their own
bodily functions and brought
them to a stage whero "-ev
were forced to perform ,
functions in their clothe-s -
companied by the shouts and
laughter of their jailers."
The complaint said that
"According to the testimony
of some of the prisoners of
war, sexual assaults, unna-
tural acts and sodomy were
committed on a number of
Israeli prisoners. There are
attested cases of sharp ob-
jects having been inserted
into the anus of Israeli pris-
oners of war."
The Israeli complaint also
charged the Egyptians with
denying wounded POWs med-
ical aid and striking the
wounded on their wounds if
they asked for medical assist-
ance. Israel charged the
Egyptians with deliberately
withholding food and water
from Israeli POWs, forcing
them to live in vermin-in-
fested cells, denying them
washing facilities and, when
finally allowed to wash, forc-
ing them to do so in sewage
"It is clear from the fore-
going that the murders and
acts of brutality described
herein were part of a delib-
erate policy-and were com-
mitted in accordance with
systematic instructions issued
by a high central authority,"
the Israeli complaint stated.
Meanwhile, some 150 wo-
m e n chained themselves
Monday afternoon to the iron
fence that surrounds the
United Nations to protest the
Syrian treatment of Israeli
POWs and to demand that
Syria comply with the Gen-
eva Convention and turn over
the names of the POWs and
the MIAs to Israel.
Police permitted the dem-
onstrators to remain for two
hours after which UN secur-
ity guards arrived on the
scene and cut the chains.
By that time, however,
many of the women had al-
ready begun to leave. The
contingent was led by Mrs.
Max Schenk, chairman of the
executive of the American
Zionist Federation, and Mrs.
Sylvia Eisen, a - Hadassah
leader and head of tl
Island AZF.

JTA's Eytan to Cover
Geneva Conference

vin Eytan, the.Jewish Tele-
graphic Agency bureau chief,
will cover the Arab-Israeli
neace conference in Geneva
and will relay copy direct
from the conference to all
JTA bureaus and subscribers
for the duration of the talks.
Eytan joined the JTA 17
years ago in Geneva and
subsequently served as Lon-
don editor and Israeli bureau
chief during the Six-Day War.
A former member of Eur-
one's largest radio network,
Europe No. 1, he covered
in Geneva the Indochina
peace conference and the
subsequent summit. meetings.

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