Dozens protest in Egypt against alleged Israeli killing of POWs in 1967 war
Protesters in El-Arish in Sinai Peninsula chant anti-Israel slogans, call for peace treaty to be revoked.
Egyptian police on Friday dispersed a demonstration against Israel's alleged killing of Egyptian POWs during the 1967 war, dispersing the protesters and seizing their banners.
The incident in this town of north Sinai - a peninsula where Egyptian and Israeli forces fought three times in the past 51 years - reflected lingering the Egyptian resentment against Israel despite nearly 30 years of peace.
About 50 protesters began the demonstration on Friday in response to Egyptian press reports of an Israeli documentary about a 1967 battle between Israeli troops and retreating Palestinian fighters.
The demonstration swelled to hundreds when it was joined by worshippers leaving a nearby mosque. The protesters chanted "Down with Israel!" and held banners reading "No to Camp David" - a reference to the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.
The demonstrators demanded that the government abandon the treaty and remove the Israeli war memorials from Sinai.
A large number of riot police with batons charged the demonstration, snatched the banners and dispersed the protesters. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The police kept journalists away from the scene.
The Israeli director of the documentary screened on Israeli television early this month, Ran Ederlist, has accused Egyptian media of grossly distorting what his film revealed.
"You could say there was excessive use of force, (but) it was all in the context of war: Not prisoners, not prisoner-of-war camps, not people who put their hands up," Ederlist said.
However, Egyptian newspapers reported that Israeli troops had killed 250 Egyptian POWs, lawmakers called for war crimes charges to be filed against Israeli soldiers, and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit asked Israel to investigate the incident and prosecute those involved in the killings.
Israeli Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former commander of the unit that took part in the battle, canceled a visit to Egypt last week because of the uproar.
Today, Egypt and Israel maintain high-level security ties, and the Egyptian government plays an important role in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians. But the peace agreement remains highly unpopular with many Egyptians.