Dubai: A retired Egyptian corporal, who took part in the October 1973 war against Israel, appeared on TV brandishing “an Israeli soldier’s trousers”, which he said he had seized and kept with him for the past 48 years as a “memento".
During an interview with Sada El Balad Channel, Corporal Mustafa Mohammad said that he seized the trousers off an Israeli soldier with traces of blood from the soldier and also coins that the soldier was carrying.
“I took everything I could from the soldier,” said Corporal Mustafa in the interview.
The news of the retired Egyptian corporal keeping the pants has gone viral on social media with users describing him as a hero.
The October War or the Ramadan War, was initiated by Egypt and Syria on October 6, 1973, on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. It also occurred during Ramadan, and lasted until October 26, 1973.
The war, which eventually drew both the US and the Soviet Union into indirect confrontation in defence of their respective allies, was launched with the diplomatic aim of persuading a chastened — if still undefeated — Israel to negotiate on terms more favourable to the Arab countries.
The Six-Day War of 1967, in which Israel had captured and occupied Arab territories, including the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights, was followed by years of sporadic fighting.
Anwar Sadat, who became Egypt’s president shortly after the War of Attrition (1969–70) ended, made overtures to reach a peaceful settlement if, in accordance with United Nations Resolution 242, Israel would return the territories it had captured. Israel rejected those terms, and the fighting developed into a full-scale war in 1973.