Filmmaker: Egypt distorted facts

Ben-Eliezer postpones Cairo trip following dispute over "IDF massacre" report.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
The producer of a documentary depicting a 1967 IDF "massacre" said Monday that the Egyptian media has distorted the facts presented in his film. The Channel 1 report, Ruah Shaked (The Spirit of Shaked) aired last week, claimed that the elite Shaked unit, led by National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, had killed 250 fighters in Sinai towards the end of the Six Day War. Ran Ederlist, the producer, told Army Radio that the Egyptian reports badly distorted his documentary. He said the incident did not involve unarmed Egyptian prisoners of war, but rather Palestinian fighters killed in the heat of battle while the war was still raging. "What happened was that there were (Israeli) fighters waging battle against a retreating (Palestinian) commando battalion," said Ederlist. "During this battle, you could say there was excessive use of force, (but) it was all in the context of war - not prisoners, not prisoner-of-war camps, not people who put their hands up." On Monday, Ben-Eliezer postponed his planned visit to Cairo following the harsh reactions to the documentary in the Egyptian press. Ben-Eliezer's spokesman, Ronen Moshe, said the charge was untrue but the minister and his Egyptian hosts decided to put off his visit anyway. "In light of the atmosphere, which is unsuitable for a visit, the two sides decided to postpone the visit to another date in the near future," Moshe told The Associated Press. On Sunday evening, Egypt's Foreign Ministry summoned Israel's ambassador to Cairo, Shalom Cohen, and demanded an explanation of the report. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev confirmed Monday that Cohen had been called in by the Egyptians over the reports, but said he could not divulge details of that meeting. Egypt's Foreign Ministry was responding to demands made earlier in the day by two Egyptian parliament members to remove the Israeli ambassador from Egyptian soil. The MPs had dubbed Cohen a "dog." Over the weekend, Egyptian parliamentarians demanded that the IDF investigate whether the unit had in fact killed the prisoners. AP contributed to this report.