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Monday, 2 March 2009

Egypt court summons Israeli envoy for torture

The Israeli ambassador to Egypt, Shalom Cohen, has appeared in a Cairo court to hear charges of torture against an Egyptian war veteran.

The court case was heard after Egyptian national, Abdul Rahman Mohammad Qadus, filed a lawsuit against the Israeli official, stating that Cohen had tortured him during his imprisonment in Israeli jails during and after the 1973 fourth Arab-Israeli war, independent Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Mesryoon reported on Monday.

The 63-year-old Egyptian war veteran had stated that he was detained alongside 44 other Egyptian soldiers while serving in the Sinai Peninsula. He noted that Mossad agents subjected him to 'vicious torture' during his incarceration in Israeli custody - 6 October 1973 till 15 November 1973 - and Cohen injected him with Hepatitis C virus.

Qadus has demanded a USD 100-milllion recompense for the health problems he has sustained since being inflicted with the chronic disease, stressing that he has so far undergone numerous operations to treat the ailment.

Israel occupied Sinai in the 1967 Middle East war and handed it back to Egypt under a 1979 peace treaty, the first between Israel and an Arab state.

Many Egyptians still feel deep resentment and suspicion toward Israel because of its misdemeanors and the treatment of Palestinians seeking statehood in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

Reports of wartime torture and executions in the Sinai Peninsula are not a new event. In 1995, a retired Israeli officer told a newspaper of the killing of 49 Egyptian prisoners of war during the 1956 Middle East war. An Israeli inquiry concluded that Israeli troops had killed prisoners.

Israeli military historian Arieh Yitzhaki has also said that Israeli troops killed 300 Egyptian prisoners in the third Arab-Israeli war of 1967.

Israel and the Arabs fought four major wars in the years 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. PressTV