JERUSALEM (Aug. 27)
Israel is going to take its claim for material damages growing out of the shooting down of an El Al plane over Bulgaria in 1955–with consequent loss of 58 lives–directly to the Bulgarian government, it was learned here today. Nathan Peled, Israeli Minister at Sofia, was said to have been given a note which he is to deliver to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, claiming $2,700,000 in damages.
Israel lost its case on this issue before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, last Summer, when the court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction, as Bulgaria had contended. While Bulgaria had told the International Court that Israel could bring suit in a Bulgarian court, Israel has rejected the approach, partly because Bulgaria insists that, in any such action, Israel must concede that it shared the responsibility for the fatal incident.
The El Al Israel plane, shot down by Bulgarian fighter planes, on July 27, 1955, constituted an unjustified attack by Bulgaria against an innocent, commercial flight, Israel maintains. The Foreign Ministry has, therefore, decided to approach the Bulgarian Government directly, instead of suing in a Bulgarian court.