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Egypt officer who thought to break Israeli Bar Lev line dies

Baki Zaki Youssef hailed as a ‘hero’ for his plan to destroy Israeli defenses during Yom Kippur War with water pumps

Egyptian troops jubilate as they plant their flag atop a bunker on Bar-Lev line east of Suez Canal, October 13, 1973. (AP Photo/Pool/Ahmed Tayeb)
Egyptian troops jubilate as they plant their flag atop a bunker on Bar-Lev line east of Suez Canal, October 13, 1973. (AP Photo/Pool/Ahmed Tayeb)

CAIRO — Egypt’s state-owned media said the army officer credited with the idea to destroy the Bar Lev line on the Suez Canal’s eastern bank during the 1973 Yom Kippur War war has died.

The Akhbar al-Youm daily said Baki Zaki Youssef died on Saturday at the age of 87.

State-run Al Ahram daily hailed him as a “hero” while recounting war’s lead-up and how he thought to destroy the Bar Lev line with water pumps.

In 1973, Egyptian forces launched a surprise attack across the Suez Canal, cutting through the Bar Lev line of Israeli defenses in the war that culminated in the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, in 1979, but relations have always been frosty due to popular support for the Palestinians.

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