PARIS (Jan. 13)
The Israeli Embassy here has strongly contested a French journalist’s account in a recent “Paris Match” article in which he attested to the “good treatment and condition” of Israeli POWs in Syria. In the Dec. edition of the weekly magazine, Pierre Demeron said he interviewed seven Israeli POWs in Syria and found them in “good condition.” The article was accompanied by photographs of the seven men.
In this week’s edition of “Paris Match” (due to go on sale today), Israeli Embassy Consul Ephraim Tari argues that an interview with seven prisoners “obviously cannot diminish the dramatic reality of everything that has gone before.” Tart cites several instances of Syrian brutality towards Israeli POWs. He says Israel has informed International Red Cross authorities of 42 murdered Israeli prisoners, many of them with traces of torture and one with his eyes dug out.
Tari refers to the testimony of a Syrian prisoner who said he saw Syrian soldiers kick the heads in of six Israeli soldiers while they were still alive. Furthermore, says Tari, a Moroccan, who fought in the Syrian ranks, when searched was found to be carrying a bag containing parts of the bodies of Israeli soldiers such as tongues and hands which he intended to send home as “souvenirs.” Tari concludes. “At one time we had reason to believe that Israeli prisoners in Syria numbered a little over one hundred. Today their number can only be considered undetermined.”