LONDON (Jan. 31)
Two Jews sentenced to death by an Egyptian military court for “Zionist espionage” were hanged in Cairo early this morning. Their execution was announced to the public by the hoisting of a big black flag over the prison. The press and the public were barred from the hangings.
The two executed men were Dr. Moshe Marzouk, aged 29, and Shmuel Azzar, aged 26. They were among the 13 Jewish defendants tried in Cairo on charges of “sabotage and espionage” on behalf of Israel. Of the remainder, two received life sentences, four were given long prison terms and two were acquitted. Two others left Egypt before the mass arrests took place.
The London press, reporting the hangings, expressed surprise that the Egyptian Government had ignored “a considerable volume” of international appeals for clemency. It is understood that such appeals were made, among others, by the Governments of the United States and Britain whose diplomatic representatives in Cairo urged Egypt to adopt a humane attitude and do nothing which would exacerbate the Arab-Israel situation.
Israel Embassy circles here expressed appreciation today of the “sympathy and understanding” shown by many Britons for the two young Jews who were executed. The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Zionist Federation of Great Britain issued statements condemning the Egyptian Government for the executions. Many members of the British Parliament personally cabled during the last few days to Egyptian Premier Col. Gamel Abdul Nasser appealing for commutation of the sentences.