Gravestone Unveiled for El Al Passengers Shot Down by Bulgaria

The Government of Bulgaria was sharply criticized today during unveiling ceremonies for a gravestone for the 58 E1 A1 passengers killed when the aircraft was shot down over Bulgaria two years ago by Bulgarian fighter planes.

Interior Minister Bar Yehuda, representing the Israel Government, said it was “painful” that a government which admitted responsibility for the destruction of the plane had still not paid compensation to the families of the victims. While compensation cannot revive the dead, he said, it may help those who depended on the victims.

The gravestone is a marble square with all names of the victims inscribed on it. Hundreds of relatives, many of whom made special trips to Israel for the ceremony, took part. The rites were conducted jointly by Chief Rabbi Jacob Toledano of Tel Aviv and an Anglican priest and a Catholic Abbe. The relatives jointly recited Kaddish.

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