Ex-Israeli Envoy: We Killed Argentina Jewish Center Bombing Conspirators

Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 04:33 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Claims by a former diplomat that Israel has assassinated most of the suspects who took part in the deadly July 1994 bombing of a Jewish center community center in Argentina have triggered angry reactions in Buenos Aires and Jerusalem, InSerbiaIndependent News reported Monday.
Itzhak Aviran, who was Israeli ambassador to Argentina at the time of the blast that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more, told the Spanish-language Jewish news agency AJN that the overwhelming majority of those responsible for the attack “are already on ‘the other side’and we did that.”
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In addition, the former diplomat blasted Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman for signing an agreement with Iran, which is widely believed to have been behind the bombing, to establish a “truth commission” to investigate the attack.

Aviran called the agreement, approved last year by Argentina’s Congress and Iran’s Majlis, a “farce” that would not shed any light on who was responsible for the blast.
Timerman responded that Aviran’s revelations are “extremely serious” and that Buenos Aires “categorically rejects the possibility that a nation apparently decides to condemn, much less execute, any person without a trial to prove their guilt.”

Israel initially released a terse response from Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, who termed Aviran’s statements “utter nonsense.”

The Foreign Ministry later issued a second response stating that the former diplomat’s comments are “completely disconnected from reality.”

The statement added “these remarks, made on no authority nor knowledge, are pure fantasy and do not reflect in any way actual events or facts. Israel continues to cooperate in full transparency with Argentina in investigating the bombings which took place in Buenos Aires against the Embassy of Israel and the AMIA Jewish Community Center.”

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who is leading the investigation into the bombings, was upset over Aviran’s statements. “I was very surprised to hear these things,” said Nisman said.

Nisman, who has been sharply critical of the Argentine government for establishing the truth commission with Iran, said Aviran should be summoned to speak with investigators about the case.

“We would like to know how he knows these things, who these people are and what evidence he has in his possession,” he said.

Haaretz reported
that Aviran’s comments about assassinating the killers may be a reference to the 2008 assassination of Hezbollah terror operative Imad Mugniyeh in Damascus.

Israel has not formally taken responsibility for the killing, but is widely believed to have been responsible for the slaying, and Hezbollah has vowed revenge.
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