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Israeli General: ‘Mubarak ordered opening army cemeteries for Israelis to search for their dead soldiers’

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

An Israeli general said that “the death of former President Hosni Mubarak is a good occasion to remember an Arab leader who understood the meaning of peace with Israel, and added a human perspective to it. He was the only leader in the region who maintained more than anyone else peace with Israel and stability in the Middle East.”

Shimon Hefetz added in his article in the Israel DefenceMagazine, translated by Arabi21, that “Mubarak’s departure from the world came after his humiliating appearance before the court as he was the last Egyptian pharaohs who ruled the country of the Nile for a long time, and here he recalled how Mubarak ordered the Egyptian army to look for the missing Israeli soldiers during the October 1973 War.”

Hefetz, former military secretary to Israeli President EzerWeizman, revealed that “Mubarak ordered the opening of the Egyptian army cemeteries for the Israelis so that they can search for the bodies of their dead soldiers, who were killed in the air, sea and land, without limiting the time or duration of this authorization.”

The Israeli general stressed that he “felt the extent of Mubarak’s great contribution to maintaining peace with Israel, when the latter met Weizman, in a meeting between two pilots. He did not work enough to normalize relations between the two countries, yet his decision not to proceed in this path stemmed from his eagerness to keep his role as a leader in the Arab world. However, Mubarak was a strategic partner for peace with Israel, who preserved the peace treaty with us in all its terms and details.”

He explained that “Mubarak maintained the peace treaties that Israel signed with the Palestinians, some of which were signed in Cairo. Some of these agreements were signed against Yasser Arafat’s will, after being gravely offended by Mubarak, who faced a strong opposition by the Egyptians and  the Islamic extremist forces that opposed peace with Israel”.

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Hefetz added that “Mubarak had been a responsible, mature, leader, who always sought to ease any security tension, and maintain communication between all the parties.”

He pointed out that “47 years had passed since the war of October 1973, when Mubarak was the commander of the Egyptian Air Force. After that, he was appointed as vice president and accompanied late President Anwar Sadat on his historic visit to Israel. Politically and militarily speaking, Mubarak‘s humane approach while dealing with the families of the dead and missing Israeli soldiers during the wars with Egypt was clear and unmistakable.”

Hefetz revealed that “in late 1994 Mubarak invited his Israeli counterpart, Weizman, who led the Israeli Air Force and took over the Ministry of War several times during the era of peace with Egypt, to visit Cairo. During Weizman’s official visit to Egypt, the authorities held an official reception to welcome him, which carried meanings of appreciation and respect for Israel. The two presidents kept close and strong contact, which constituted a personal success story for both of them.”

He explained that “at the end of his presidential term in June 2000, Mubarak invited Weizman again to a special farewell visit in his palace in Alexandria, and accepted the Israeli president’s request to recuperate a book of Torah that has been exhibited in the Great Library of Alexandria.”

Hefetz concluded by saying that “Mubarak realized the importance of peace with Israel from three angles: keeping moral and ethical commitments, receiving security and economic aid from the US, the world’s superpower, every year, leading the Arab nation by managing the search for a solution to the Palestinian issue, and fighting armed organizations.  Eventually, Israel and the West will miss a lot their friend Mubarak.”

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