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Israel Asks Mubarak to Condemn Media Attacks over Pow Matter

Israel has called on Egypt’s leaders to denounce sharp attacks against Israel that have recently appeared in the Egyptian media.

The media assaults were sparked by recent allegations that members of the Israel Defense Force had killed Egyptian prisoners of war during the 1956 Sinai Campaign and the 1967 Six-Day war.

The allegation, voiced recently by Israeli war veterans and historians, have raised a furor in Israel and Egypt.

They prompted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to call on Israel to launch an investigation into the affair.

Mubarak, who initially did not respond to the allegations, was believed to have issued the call for an investigation in Israel after Egypt’s opposition newspapers pounced on the story, demanding that the country’s leadership criticize Israel.

This week, an Egyptian newspaper published an article saying that Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, David Sultan, killed some 100 Egyptian POWs when he was a paratrooper commander in 1956.

The report was sharply denounced by Israel.

“These are all lies,” Deputy Foreign Minister Eli Dayan told Army Radio.

Dayan said he would raise the allegations at a meeting this week with Egypt’s ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Basiouny, and also when he travels next week to Cairo.

“I intend to ask the official sources to respond to these lies, and to denounce them,” Dayan said.

He also responded to the allegations by Israeli soldiers and historians that created the controversy, saying, “These incidents are exceptions and go against the ethics of the IDF.”

Earlier this week, Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair said that Israel’s 20-year statute of limitations for criminal acts has expired.

“As a result, there is no legal possibility of bringing to trial anyone involved in incidents that place almost 40 years ago, or 28 years ago,” Ben- Yair said in the statement.

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