Israel Charges Dead Israeli Pilot Was Tortured, Mutilated by Egyptians

Israel today accused Egyptian personnel of murdering an Israeli fighter pilot who bailed out safely over Egyptian territory after his jet was shot down by ground fire last Aug. 3. The Israeli charge, contained in a complaint filed with the International Red Cross, states that the remains of Lt. Moshe Goldwasser indicated to Israeli medical examiners that his death was caused by inhumane treatment, including probable torture. Egypt reported Goldwasser’s death on Aug. 4 and gave the cause as cardiac arrest following a nervous breakdown. Israel requested the IRC to demand that Egyptian authorities find and bring to trial the persons who ordered or committed inhuman acts against Lt. Goldwasser in violation of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. Israel has also demanded that Egypt take immediate action to prevent further breaches of the Geneva Convention. According to the Israeli complaint, Goldwasser’s body was examined by an Egyptian doctor, Mohammed Fouad Anwar, on Aug. 17, 13 days after his death was announced. The remains were subsequently transferred to Israel where another post-mortem was performed on Sept. 2 by Col. Reuben Eldar, the Israel Army’s chief medical officer.

According to Dr. Eldar, the remains were in an advanced stage of decay, indicating that the corpse was not kept under refrigeration as is the normal practice. The implication was that the Egyptians hoped that evidence of torture would be obliterated by the time the Israelis received the body. According to Dr. Eldar’s post-mortem report sufficient evidence remained to indicate that Lt. Goldwasser had undergone severe torture including blows with blunt instruments, electric shock and mutilation while still alive. The Egyptian doctors removed some of his internal organs after death for no apparent medical reasons, the Israeli complaint stated. That in itself, according to the Israelis, indicated an attempt to remove evidence of maltreatment. The Israeli report noted that Lt. Goldwasser had undergone his annual medical check-up and was found in excellent condition six weeks before his plane was downed, only four days before the Suez cease-fire went into effect.

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