Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq…the Egyptian leader who saved Gaza in 1948

“How can I retreat and leave my 250,000 brothers, the people of Gaza, like chickens, being massacred by the Jews and violating their honor? Do you want me to take them to El-Arish? Or defend them?” Rafa ? No, no matter what the outcome, I will not quit. “

(Response from Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq, Commander of the Egyptian Forces in Palestine, to Egyptian War Minister Haider Pasha)

At the end of 1947 AD, the United Nations decided to divide Palestine into Palestinians and Jews. This was like a bullet fired at the Palestinians by major powers led by the United States, Britain, Russia, France, etc., from 1917 to 1947. During the years, Jews from Europe experienced planned and organized immigration of millions, with the support and protection of the British army that occupied Palestine at the time.

In the face of these unjust decisions, and the accompanying armed gangs such as the Irgun and the Haganah established by the Zionists, these gangs are accustomed to killing and displacing unarmed Palestinian people across the country and carrying out Massacres, most notably by the likes of Deir Yassin, Palestinian and Arab volunteers from Egypt, Syria and Jordan created groups to defend their land during the British occupation. In mid-May 1948, when Britain decided to end the mandate for Palestine, the armies of seven Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, decided to join the Palestinian resistance movement in fighting the catastrophe. This happened to them.

“Ya'ab” Action Path

We have monitored that some forces in these countries have achieved victory in some important battles, such as: Iraqi troops stationed in JeninWe highlighted the role of the Egyptian army in the early stages of the war and its successes in battles in the Negev, Gaza Strip, Majdal and even Ashkelon and Bethlehem in southern Palestine. We also try to assess the real causes that ultimately lead to… Defeat of the Egyptian Army and other Arab armies to achieve the larger goal of liberating Palestine from Zionist gangs and defeating the then-emerging state of Israel.

The fact is that the capabilities of the Egyptian army at that time were very weak, either due to willful negligence by the British who were still occupying Egypt at the time, or the lack of concern for the army by successive governments. Either at the request of the British themselves, or out of fear of the army invading and entering the political arena. As a result, the army's equipment before entering Palestine on May 15, 1948, was incomplete and late, and it was difficult or even impossible to obtain strong supplies from within or outside to make up for the attrition of the troops in Palestine. The battle at that time. Therefore, the advance of the Egyptian army led by Major General Ahmed Ali Maawawi did not have adequate armor cover, not to mention the lack of a clear war plan and the conduct of the battle.

For this reason, the Egyptian army suffered heavy losses, especially in the “Joab” operation launched by the Zionists in October 1948, during which they recaptured Majdal, Beersheba and the Negev from the Egyptian army. most areas. Operation “Joab” was successful and Faluja's connection to the east and west was cut off. Israel controls the coastal highway between Ashdod and Gaza, and the fighting is not only bad in this regard, but also in poor conditions. The Egyptian army was poorly prepared and equipped. The cavalry equipment was dilapidated, the artillery was insufficient, and it was damaged in many places. In addition, there was a serious shortage of ammunition and manpower (1).

Faced with these heavy losses and the desperate situation, Egypt proposed withdrawing its troops from Palestine in early November to save the situation, especially after Israel isolated the entire brigade (about 2,000 officers and soldiers). – the Faluja region and transfer ground and air superiority to the enemy. However, Cairo's military leadership concluded that the Egyptian army, despite its losses, must stay in order to protect the remaining lands. Despite this, the Egyptian army eventually withdrew to the Gaza-Oja line. In view of these losses, War Minister Haider Pasha decided to change the leadership of the Egyptian army in Palestine, so he decided to withdraw Major General Ahmed Ali Maawawi and appoint Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq Take his place.

Major General Ahmed Sadiq Fuad

Major General Ahmed Sadiq Pasha played an important role in the expansion of the army in El Fasher Egypt, Uganda and Ethiopia, and he suffered many injuries in these wars (Correspondence website)

Perhaps we should pause for a moment about this man known for his outstanding patriotic and military stance, who was even one of the victims of the British conspiracy with the Wafd Party government, which led to his imprisonment for two years before being mentioned in 1942, He retired while still a brigadier general and was called up again. On November 10, 1948, he led the defeated Egyptian army in Palestine. Who is this forgotten leader? How can he save the Gaza Strip to this day and refuse orders from Cairo’s military leaders to withdraw, leaving half a million Palestinians in Gaza to face extermination and crime by Zionist gangs?

He was Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq Pasha, who was awarded the title of Pasha by King Farouk for his great success in protecting the Gaza Strip and resisting the Jews in Rafah, Khan Younis and El-Arish. military rank, this was a real success for the Arabs. The Egyptian army participated in the fighting in Palestine, and it is thanks to this man's leadership that the Gaza Strip remains in its current form. From 1948 to the present, although the Zionists occupied the Gaza Strip in 1956 and 1967, it was decades before the Zionists left.

His origins can be traced to the center of Zefta in the northern governorate of Gharbia in Egypt. He was born in Cairo on September 1, 1893, to an Egyptian father, Mohammed Sadiq, and a Sudanese mother. He completed primary school there and graduated from the Military Academy. In 1913 he entered the cavalry school and subsequently joined the Egyptian army in Sudan, serving for seven years. He played an important role in the expansion of armies in El Fasher Egypt, Uganda and Ethiopia. He suffered many injuries in those wars. He returned to Egypt in 1920 and entered the Military Academy to obtain a “military degree” in 1940. War Staff. ” In 1942, when the British forced King Farouk to appoint a Wafd government headed by Nahas Pasha, Brigadier General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq was the most supportive of the King’s opposition to the British’s brutal interference in Egyptian politics and threats One of the army commanders of the royal palace. With tanks, and they force the king to make the decision they want (2).

On December 22, 1948 AD, with the stagnant position of other Arab armies, the Zionists launched Operation Horeb against the Egyptian army to permanently expel it from Palestine (Correspondence website)

Despite this, Nahas Pasha decided to expel him from the army and imprisoned him for 23 months. After he was released from prison, he decided to retire. He remained retired from 1944 until November 1948. The Cairo army leadership, headed by Haider Pasha, King Farouk and others, was looking for someone with…who had experience in taking on the mission of the Egyptian army in Palestine, where they suffered heavy defeats that led to He was unanimously chosen by Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq, a mission he accepted with enthusiasm and stipulated that he would direct the battle according to his own vision and with complete freedom except within the narrowest limits. Outside, not under Cairo's command (3).

Major General Sadiq's arrival in Gaza restored trust between the Egyptian military and the people of Gaza, and also brought him closer to the Muslim Brotherhood volunteers who had distinguished themselves in the fighting under Sag Mahmoud. Rabbi, Kamal Sharif and others. On December 22, 1948, with the other Arab armies' stagnant position in sight, the Zionists launched Operation Horeb (meaning “Eye”) against the Egyptian army to permanently expel it from Palestine. The plan was initiated following smaller campaigns such as the occupation of positions protecting Egyptian roads, the mobilization of Zionist forces in front of Egyptian army positions, and tactical deception operations aimed at diverting Egyptian army attention from targets. The Zionists are planning.

Major General Sadiq refuses to withdraw troops from Gaza

The Zionist plan was to surround the Egyptian forces from east to west until they reached the coast between Rafah and El-Arish, with the aim of isolating these forces from Gaza and dividing them into small and weak units that could easily be exploited. group. to be eliminated later. They carried out deceptive raids on Deir el-Balah and its surrounding locations, such as “Taba 86”, a strategic hill as it overlooked the land and railway connecting Gaza to Khan Younis and the occupied Syrian Arish. Defeated desperately by the Egyptian army under Major General Sadiq, the Jews were supported by huge arms exports to them from the United States and Czechoslovakia, despite the embargo declared by the United Nations at the time. Weak strength.

The Jewish army that attacked Hill 86 was estimated to number about 3,000 soldiers and officers, and was led by a veteran Russian officer, Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq, a witness to military experience and sacrifice. He was killed along with his brother and hundreds of other Zionists due to a siege by Egyptian troops and Muslim Brotherhood forces led by Kamal Sharif. In all aspects of the desert, they followed the plans laid out for them by Major General Ahmed Fuad Sadiq until they succeeded in defeating the Zionists (4).

Despite orders to withdraw, Major General Ahmed Fuad insisted on defending the Gaza Strip with the Muslim Brotherhood until the last moment and successfully repelled the Zionist attack on it (Communication website)

On the other hand, historian Abdul Wahab Bakr (5) believes that the Jewish attack on “Teb 86” was not a real attack and was only intended to disperse Gaza The attention of the Egyptian army under the command of Major General Dick to the real situation. A few days later, on the night of December 26, 1948, the largest offensive was launched, with a large-scale encirclement operation launched towards the Negev “Al-Asluj – and Al-Awja (Awja Al-Hafir)”, Beersheba nearby. During this battle, Egypt's defenses collapsed, and in the face of the Zionist offensive, the Jews occupied all the land between Beersheba and Oja Hafir. In this regard, historian Arif Arif said: “On the way to Oja, they destroyed the Egyptian garrisons stationed in Asaluj, Sharif and other places, as well as those who were not killed in these garrisons.” They captured him, and those who were not killed or captured began to linger on his face. “(6)

As a result, the entire Negev fell into the hands of the Zionists, the road to the Sinai Peninsula was opened to them, and they began shouting “March to Cairo,” which means “Go to Cairo.” Two high-ranking Egyptian army officers with the rank of major general were captured, and the soldiers left their weapons and cars behind, with the road behind blocked, many of them loaded with weapons, equipment, gasoline, all of which fell into Jewish hands as spoils of war . Although the withdrawing troops attempted to establish a defensive line in the area of ​​”Abu Uwaqira” (now the Hasana area in central Sinai), the Jews were quicker to blow up the bridges near the area and occupied the area, and when they occupied ” Abu Uwaqira”, they were divided into two parts; one heading to Ismailia by road, they arrived at the airport used by the British, 108 kilometers (7) from Ismailia. Maybe Al-Maliz or Bardawil airports, but EgyptAir was able to completely annihilate those airport armies.

As for the other group, it moved towards El-Arish, approached the city's airport, and simultaneously began to attack Gaza and Rafah. Egyptian military aircraft played a large role in this attack on El-Arish and Rafah. Major General Sadiq realized that the Jewish attacks on the military airfields of El-Arish, Hasana, and Maliz were a hoax to get Egyptian troops to withdraw from Rafah and Gaza in order to support Egyptian positions in the Sinai. In fact, orders came from Haider Pasha, the war minister, asking him to leave Gaza before the Jews began attacking Gaza. 86 December 23 in Gaza.

The 1948 war against the Zionists, led by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, ended with the failure of the primary goal of expelling the Zionists and returning occupied lands to the Palestinians. (Communication website)

But Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq refused these orders and sent someone to say to him: “How can I retreat and let my 250,000 brothers, the people of Gaza, be slaughtered like chickens by the Jews, violating Their honor? “I will not retreat, no matter the outcome. ” In 1954, Major General Sadiq mentioned this confession to the Palestinian historian Arif Arif in Cairo, telling him: “Yes, by God, I violated the order and did not withdraw, and if I had withdrawn, The Jews could have used Rafah Road to attack me…The presence of the Egyptian army on that road was a military mistake, because the troops stationed on that road, if attacked, would have no choice but to choose one of the two The road is either by sea or surrender, so it is more appropriate for our army to take the road from Gaza to Beersheba. This is what the British commander Lord Allenby did in World War I. As for us, we made a mistake if we didn't care about Beersheba. Seven, we are not prepared to defend it” (8).

The Egyptian Air Force played an important role in the offensive against the Zionist forces in El-Arish and Rafah. Despite this, they tried to re-siege it, but on January 7, 1949, the Security Council declared an armistice and the United States and Britain pressured Israel to withdraw its troops, cease fire, and end Operation Horeb. On January 13, Egypt and Israel held armistice negotiations in Rhodes Island. The 1948 war against the Zionists, led by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, ended after failing to achieve its main objectives. After the Egyptian army gained the upper hand, it expelled the Zionists and returned the occupied land to the Palestinians. During the first days of the battle, its effectiveness gradually diminished until it failed (9).

This defeat and its political and psychological impact on later acceding Palestine and Egypt; Major General Ahmed Fouad Sadiq is believed to have rejected an offer issued to him by Egypt's Minister of War, Haider Pasha, at the height of these events Serious orders to withdraw troops from the Gaza Strip and persisted until the last moment to defend Gaza striptease with the Muslim Brotherhood. He actually succeeded in repelling the Zionist attack, which led King Farouk to grant him the rank of pasha upon his return to Cairo. Curiously, as far as we know, no one has dealt with this man's biography. Seen – in writing and exploring the depths of his personality in detail.



  • (1) Abdul Wahab Bakr: The Army in the 1948 War, pp. 132, 133.
  • (2) Arif Al-Arif: Previous article, pages 808, 809.
  • (3) Muhammad Sab Arab: February 4, 1942
  • (4) Arif Al-Arif: Previous article, pages 801, 802.
  • (5) Abdul Wahab Bakr: Previous article, page 136.
  • (6) Arif Arif: The Palestinian Nakba and Paradise Lost, p. 804.
  • (7) Arif Al-Arif: Same as above.
  • (8) Arif Al-Arif: Previous article, pages 802, 803.
  • (9) War in a Peaceful Land, pp. 433-466.

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