Monday, January 14, 2008

Egyptian X-file: Were they Egyptians or Jordanians?? Were they killed by the IDF or the Othman Empire army??

In the last days of December 2007, a construction worker in Eilat had found by an accident a mass grave for Muslims in a construction site there, 24 hours later the Al-Aqsa foundation which takes cares after the Islamic properties in Israel took notice and sent a delegation to investigate the mass grave and to see if it was truly for Muslims, and it was and that’s was the beginning of a new series of shocking discoveries about the tomb that made the foundation to send another bigger delegation and act vastly to get a court order according to the Israeli laws to announce this piece of land as protected land , as a Muslim cemetery supervised by the foundation and that no construction will be allowed anymore in the site. Already the site was planned to be a Jewish cemetery by the city of Eilat.

Now back to the shocking discoveries, the delegation of the foundation found the following:

- The mass grave contained remains of more than one hundred person.

- The remains are from bones, whether from skeletons or skulls.

- Military clothes were found among the remains and they were not 1_748902_1_23 for the Israeli army.

- Holy Quran Books were found in the possessions they found in the tomb.

- The position of the mass grave and the remains suggest that those people in the mass grave were executed either hanged or shot down and dumped in the grave quickly.

Of course I forget to mention where the site is, may be because I do not want people to jump in to quick conclusion. The location of the tomb is in the village of Um Rashrash on the Egyptian-Israeli borders, the famous controversial Um Rashrash which I will dedicate a separate post to because it will not fair to speak about it in just one paragraph. The only thing you have to know now Um Rashrash is believed by some Egyptians to be an Egyptian Territory that was taken from us in 1949.

The Al-Aqsa foundation by way had released international call to the Arabs and Muslims in the whole world to share any information regarding this mass grave, yes the Palestinians themselves do not know to whom this tomb or mass grave belongs to, it is enigma for them, the only thing they know is that those bones belong to Muslim Arabs and that’s it.

From the data given above and as someone interested enough in the Egyptian POWs case and its history whether in 1956 or in 1967, I believed that this mass grave was for Egyptian POWs who were killed in Eilat in 1967, already Eilat was among the concentration points in which the Egyptian POWs were gathered and transferred to North of Israeli to Atlit and according to Veteran Egyptian POWs, mass murder operations were done on the way just for fun!!

Anyhow new data came to the media that made me change all what I thought about this mass grave, it made me look beyond year 1967, to the first war between Israel and the Arab nations in 1948 or exactly in 1949.

Yes it may go beyond to 1956 Biro’s Massacres but it was after the war of 1948 between the Arabs and Israel which resulted in the foundation of the Hebrew State. The Egyptian Front for the restoration of the Egyptian Um Rashrash whose general Secretary is PM Talaat El-Sadaat said that they own documents and evidence that this mass grave is for Egyptian officers and Soldiers who were killed in 1949 in what is known in the Israeli military history as operation Ovda or more correctly from the Jewish virtual library, Operation Uvdah. According to the front’s documents which will be represented to the assembly through PM to the committee of defense and national security these remains found in Um Rashrash last December 2007 are the remains of Egyptian Soldiers and officers who were killed in March 1949 in the small costal village by the IDF in the operation Uvdah as there was an Egyptian battalion consisting of 350 officers and soldiers guarding the Um Rashrash harbour during that time. In March 1949 despite the UN orders to cease fire between the fighting parties in 1948 and no further Israeli expansion, the IDF continued its campaign of expansion and occupation of the Arab land in what was known as operation “Uvdah”. The front which includes Veterans, generals and military historians says that there was a massacre committed against that Battalion by the IDF.

Still in the common Egyptian military history we never read or heard about it before, especially here we are not talking 20 being killed but 1 a whole battalion from 350 persons, with families that would ask one day about the destiny of their men !!??

The justification of the front was that the government and the regime kept it as a secret so the people would not be angry, well the only problem was that this was not the republic hush-hush era, it was the monarchy era during King Farouk’s role and the Government was the Ibrahim Pasha Abd El-Hady national cabinet which was in the office from December 1948 to July 1949. I mean such an act can be considered as irresponsible act from the side of the king and his cabinet back then that the free officers would use it against the king and his regime, and already it would be much more solid than the myth of the corrupted Weapons, we are taking 350 persons being slaughtered and land presumed to be an Egyptian occupied and nothing done on the national or international level!!

Ok may be there was no Egyptian battalion there then who were they??

The big surprise came from the famous free officer, 1948 veteran  and military historian General Gamal Hamad who believes that those remains are not for Egyptian Soldiers!!

We did not fight the Israelis in any battle in the Um Rashrash region. These remains could be for Jordanian officers and soldiers as this region was following the Jordan

Not only he denied the possibility of the Egyptian identity of these remains but he is saying that Um Rashrash Gamal Hamadwas following Jordan!! I will not go to this point this time for now

So they could be Jordanians, well why not the village is so close form the Aqaba city in Jordan, if the city or the village was following the Jordanian kingdom then unlikely during this time that there was an Egyptian Battalion, already King Abdullah I used to hate King Farouk so much and there was a tension between them during the war and so it will leave us with the option that they were Jordanians.

If you think that the old veteran made a surprise wait to listen to other Egyptian famous historians. The famous Dr. Yunnan Labib Dr.Labib Rizek Rizek says these remains may not return to 1949 or 1948 in the first place, they could be the remains of the Egyptian Soldiers who fought and resisted the Othman Empire army in 1906 from more than century when the later came to invade the coastal village. Already according to the Israeli sources in 1949 they invaded the village with no resistance, if there was an Egyptian battalion ,they would fight them and make some heroic epic for it, so here is another point

Dr. Mustafa El-Nasharty on the other hand confirmed that these remains are for Egyptians but he tried to hold the stick from the middle saying that they could be either killed in 1906 or in 1949, the chances are equal.

Here is the enigma: How could 350 persons in one battalion disappear from history like this??

All things are possible; already even the members of the front of Um Rashrash are not sure 100%, there will be no 100% certainty except with complete investigation and inspection for the site itself, still it will be difficult because of the Israelis but it can be easy if the foundation through its website publishes photos from the sites including the following:

  • Photos for the military clothes they found as they will be number one determent to (1) which army those people belonged to whether the Egyptian or Jordanian (2) to which era these clothes belong to in case that they turned to be Egyptian, whether in 1906 or in 1949 or even in 1967, of course the time will determine and(3) who killed them the Othman army in 1906 or the IDF in 1949.
  • Photos for the Holy Quran found in the site and here I mean photos for the pages where it was mentioned where the Holy Book was printed and when, again it will determine (1) the nationality of those soldiers whether they were Egyptians if the Holy Quran was printed in Egypt or they were Jordanians if it was printed in Jordan (2) Whether it was printed in 1949 or in 1906 and it would be easy to know.


Also this is a request to my dear Jordanian visitors and I Know that I am lucky that they are always my blog ,if you know any historical information or military information about a Jordanian battalion that was killed in Um Rashrash in 1949 ,then please share it with us whether in the comments or through e-mail .

Now these remains were for persons, who were killed not in battle but in mass execution murder operation, this is a crime is considered as a war crime that does not fall by seniority whether or who ever had done, the Othman Empire army or the IDF.

These men who forgotten for a very long time from our memory, they fall in a gap in history , yet history must speak the truth in the end even after 50 years or 100 years ,it will be crime if we forget about these men again regardless of who they were and who killed them . The truth is not buried for long …even if some people think so.


  1. Sometimes when I read your blog I feel as if I'm reading an editorial or a well researched news magazine article. Today is one of those days. Really very thorough and well researched.

    I was thinking the same thing you were. The uniforms would indicate the nationality and era of the soldiers. This is, undoubtedly, a war crime, but will there be justice?

    The Bosnian Muslims are still waiting for justice from the massacre of Srebrenica.

    War is ugly and the alleged rules of engagement fall by the wayside in the midst of conflict. Still I hope that your article brings forth attention to the matter so that at least, as you said, the families of these poor murdered soldiers have some peace of mind.

    My own opinion based on what you've written. Their Egyptian and not Jordanian.

  2. @N.american princess, thanks so much for nice words ,
    I am afraid there will be no justice , already till now the Egyptian Embassy did not send any one to inspect the site as far as i know and with all the evidences in Egypt from mass graves across Sinai , and living testimonies of the great people of Al-Arish and Gaza and the former POWs and those who survived the 6 days war and those who made to the Suez canal , all these are not enough for the Egyptian regime to do what it should do in the first place
    Believe it or not the Bosnian Muslims are much luckier , at least the whole world believes them but in our case even the Egyptian regime does not recognize this officially !!

  3. This article shows how little anyone cares for these poor souls.


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