Egyptian memorial in Israel in a state of disrepair

The monument was erected in 1989 following the Camp David Peace Treaty signed by the two sides.

By
June 12, 2019 04:54
2 minute read.
Egyptian memorial to soldiers who died during Israel’s War of Independence in southern Israel

Egyptian memorial to soldiers who died during Israel’s War of Independence in southern Israel. (photo credit: ANNA AHRONHEIM)

An Egyptian memorial to soldiers who died during the War of Independence in the South is falling apart.

A left turn off of Route 35 will take you to the Givati Museum, but take a right turn – a 25-minute drive from the Ad Halom interchange outside Sde Yoav – and you will find a gas station, a spa and an obelisk. Random? Not really.

The obelisk is the memorial to Egyptian soldiers who were killed in the War of Independence. Made of red Egyptian granite with an inscription in four languages – English, Hebrew, Arabic and Hieroglyphics – it was erected in 1989, 10 years after the peace treaty signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979.

“This monument was erected in memory of four Egyptian soldiers who fell in the Battle for Al-Falouja in June 1948,” reads one heavily cracked sign, with the names of Col. Ahmad Abdel al-Aziz, Col. Ahmad Fahim Bayoumi, Col. Ibrahim Qutub al-Sayyad, and Pvt. Abu al-Hasan Hasan Isawi.

But 30 years after it was erected, the monument is in need of heavy restoration work, as several granite slabs are cracked or have fallen off. The inscriptions on the monument itself are barely visible, likely due to years of exposure to the strong Mediterranean sun.

The site is also relatively abandoned, with no visitors in sight when this reporter visited, and gas station workers unaware of the history of the monument standing only meters away from them. The Jerusalem Post tried several times to contact the Egyptian Embassy.

During the 1948 war, 2,500 Egyptian soldiers and their 500 armored vehicles had planned to reach Tel Aviv but only made it as far as Ad Halom (Ashdod), after encountering fierce resistance from Israeli outposts. The Ad Halom bridge had served as the only pass along the coast for thousands of years. But Israel, anticipating an attack from its southern enemy, blew it up days before the joint attack by Arab armies. The Egyptians never made it to Tel Aviv, and lost about 2,000 soldiers.

After the war, the bridge was rebuilt and a commemorative park was established nearby, with a wall commemorating the Israeli soldiers who fell in battle in the area.

The inscriptions on the monument itself are barely visible, likely due to years of exposure to sun.


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