Israel's Terrible Secret: Mass Grave, Scorched Egyptian Soldiers

Published July 13th, 2022 - 06:26 GMT
Honoring Egyptian soldiers
Palestinian and foreign activists next to a monument commemorating the death of Egyptian soldiers killed during the 1967 Six-Day war [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

How can the Israeli military 'hide away' a mass grave with at least 25 Egyptian soldiers buried inside and some say a 100 and build car lot on top of it for a "Mini Israel' miniature park tourist attraction and think they can get away from it?

Its mind-boggling to think they have for so long but no more because after 55 years the law in Israel forces the authorities – politicians, army, secret service – to divulge "secrets" they would prefer to be kept hidden, hence the mass grave.

What is a horrible, demeaning, beguiling travesty is that Israelis have been parking their cars there since the early years of this century with much foot-traffic of people going about their business without a care in the world of what possibly lay in the ground beneath them. Declassified documents suggest at least 80 Egyptian elite commanders were killed, shot, burnt and buried there. It certainly shows the wrapped mentality that dominates the Israeli state and its decision-makers.

It was thanks to Yossi Melman, an Israeli journalist who let the terrible secret out when he started digging for the truth, revealing there was indeed a massacre committed by the Israeli army during the second day of the 1967 Six-day War, and which top Israeli officers sought to hide and cover up and which they successfully managed to do, for more than five decades.

It became Israel's guilty and dirty secret despite Israeli witnesses on the spot and first-hand accounts given of what happened, how it happened and the subsequent coverup. But mother earth have an eerie way of reacting and rejecting what is buried there. A witness then said a terrible stench was coming out of the area with dead limbs but he couldn't talk about it.

The witnesses were from the Nahshon Kibbutz. The massacre was committed in thousands and thousands of acres of land on what some called a "no-man land" between what become occupied Jerusalem and Jaffa and which everyone knew as the Latrun area. Witnesses saw with their own eyes what the Israeli army had done but had to turn the other way because they would have prosecuted under Israel military law.

During the war the 100 elite military commanders crossed the Jordan River as a result of a signed pact between Jordan and Egypt and found themselves in the area and reputedly lost, although they had a well defined mission to capture Israeli airbases in Lod, Tel Nof and Ramle. Quickly, they become surrounded by Israeli soldiers from the 4th Brigade who set the vast amounts of fields on fire through phosphorus shells; they willingly decided to scorch the land and thus burned 25 of these soldiers alive according to existing reports.

The rest were either killed or captured during the fighting. A few days later eyewitnesses stated that Israeli bulldozers came, dug up a mass 20-meter grave and threw all the dead bodies in a callous, calculated way. Before the grave was covered up the Israeli soldiers set upon looting the dead bodies as members of Nahshon kibbutz watched in horror but couldn't do or say anything about what they saw. What the soldiers couldn't loot was buried underground. Israeli soldiers were ordered to make sure that nobody would ever find out what had been done to the Egyptian commanders.

Of course, the secret was kept hidden through a sort of a "wall of silence", everybody knew what happened but wanted to keep quite. Today Israeli newspapers like Yedioth Ahronoth, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post and the social media are revisiting the heinous events and highlighting what happened.

Dealing with a scandal

Today, Israeli politicians and its military generals are being left to deal with what is becoming a terrible scandal that is blowing up in their faces and its caretake Prime Minister Yair Lapid who is desperate to make peace with more Arab countries besides, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

The Egyptians for one are demanding questions of where, when and why. The social media from Cairo is seething with anger. They are calling for blood about the terrible events with hot-heads calling for the scrapping of the treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1978. This is a grisly story that is going to take a lot of thought to fathom: Shouldn't the bodies be identified, can they be identified after so long and returned to their families for proper burial.

The scandal has blown up at just about the time when US president Joe Biden is due to be in the region first visiting Israel, West Bank and finally Saudi Arabia. He is being pushed to go there by the Israelis where he is due to attend a big GCC meeting including Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Many say he wants to force the normalization card between Israel and the Arab world, especially Riyadh and Tel Aviv but will he now be able to since the latest Israeli massacre has been blown out into the open?

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