Egypt seeks reparation for irrevocable damages
In December of 2011 Egypt sent the United Nations a report detailing the reasons for which Israel owes the government of Egypt $500 billion for damage sustained by the Sinai Peninsula when it was controlled by Israel between 1967 and 1982.
Following one year of inaction by the UN, the report has now been sent to the US administration in the hopes that it will press its ally, Israel, into paying the debt.
The monetary demand is based on the claim that in its occupation and exit of the Sinai Peninsula, Israel disabled all ways of life and methods for progress in the region. It is based off of Article VIII of the 1979 peace agreement
between the nations, which said, “The parties agree to establish a claims commission for the mutual settlement of all financial claims.”
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The report notes that former president Hosni Mubarak did not introduce claims regarding any of the stolen goods or physical damage throughout his time as ruler.
The 750 page report describes the plethora of ways in which Israel shattered the local economy. It asserts that Israel destroyed the fishing industry and 40 percent of the coral reefs; took valuable oil, gold, and gems, leaving only “worthless” rock behind.
It goes on to say that maritime trade through the Suez Canal was disrupted between 1967 and 1975, thus depriving Egypt of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue; Israel stole just under $50 billion worth of sand; and conducted excavations, stealing valuable artifacts from both the land and museums in the area.
The Sinai Peninsula. Image credit: NASA
Israel also allegedly took 30 percent of the region’s freshwater sources, redirecting them towards its own population.
Militarily, the report claims that Israeli soldiers ransacked all Egyptian banks in the Gaza Strip following the conclusion of the 1967 war, and Israel obliterated the Egyptian Air Force in 1967.
Now, Egyptian leaders are asserting their rights to reparations for the wrongs committed through the 1970s’. The timing is important, as Egypt is desperate for funding right now.
Talks with the IMF regarding a $4.8 billion loan will be restarting shortly.