Mubarak Urges Punishment for Alleged Israeli Killing of POWs in 1967 War

Egypt's President says it will do whatever necessary to punish those who commit war crimes against its soldiers.

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said his country will do whatever necessary to ensure that the perpetrators of any war crimes against Egyptian soldiers are punished.

"We must make sure those who committed war crimes against [Egyptian soldiers] do not get away without punishment," Mubarak is quoted as saying in Saturday's edition of Egyptian newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm.

The Egyptian parliamentary delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) demanded Saturday an international inquiry into the suspicion that Egyptian prisoners of war were killed by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the Six-Day War.

Mubarak and EMPA were referring to the recent broadcast of the documentary about the Shaked reconnaissance Unit on Channel 1, which triggered outrage in Egypt.

The director of the documentary, Israeli journalist Ran Edelist, has flatly denied media reports saying the film accused the IDF of killing Egyptian POWs at the end of the war. He said the reports were erroneous, and that the film had discussed the deaths of Palestinian fighters killed in the heat of battle.

The Egyptian media reported the testimonies of former Egyptian prisoners who had been held by Israel about alleged crimes that IDF troops had committed against them. Egyptian officers reported that Israeli prisoners who were captured by the Egyptian army had been well treated.

Mubarak did not repeat calls of Egyptian parliamentarians to revoke the peace agreement with Israel or send the Israeli ambassador from Cairo.

The Egyptian delegation in Tunisia called on EMPA, which incorporates 37 countries from the European Union and 10 from the Mediterranean, not to ignore the film. It said the perpetrators must be brought to trial and that Israel must pay compensation to the victims' families.

It also demanded that EMPA initiate a new international conference to jumpstart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Arab League Secretary Amr Moussa criticized Israel, which he accused of changing the geographic and demographic reality.

A number of European delegations and Knesset members Saturday submitted a strong protest to the EMPA secretariat for letting Moussa, who does not represent a parliament, attack Israel there.

The Israeli delegation, headed by Deputy Knesset Speaker Majali Wahabi (Kadima), managed to remove the Egyptian demand from the conference's agenda. Delegation members said the documentary Shaked Spirit did not refer to killing Egyptian POWs at all and invited all the conference members to watch the film.

The delegation also dismissed the demand to initiate a new international conference to advance the peace process, saying there was no point in so doing as long as the Palestinian delegation refuses to recognize Israel and agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority.



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