Eban Holds Greek Government Partly Responsible for Grenade Incident at El Al Office

Foreign Minister Abba Eban holds alleged vacillation by the Greek Government partly to blame for Thursday’s grenade attack on the El Al ticket office in the heart of Athens which killed one and injured 14 persons. Mr. Eban claimed in a radio interview that it was no coincidence that the terrorists selected Greece for the second time to attack El Al installations. He said they may have felt encouraged by a reported announcement by the Greek Government that it was postponing the murder trial of two Arab saboteurs who attacked an El Al plane at Athens airport 11 months ago. The Athens Government has since announced that the terrorists will be brought to trial in February. Israeli sources said yesterday that Greek authorities had been warned in advance of the presence of Arab terrorists in Athens and the likelihood of an attack on the El Al office. They said the warning came from Israeli intelligence agents but the Greek authorities took no preventive measures.

It was reported from Athens today that Greek public opinion has been aroused against the Jordanian grenade hurler and on accomplice as a result of death of a two-year old Greek. George Nastos. The youngster was in the El Al office at the time of the attack with his parents who were preparing to go to Canada. He suffered fatal brain injuries.

The two captured Jordanians. Elias Derkarabetian, 23. and Mansour Murat, 21. appeared before an investigating magistrate in Athens. Judge Pandelis Andreou. and asked for time to prepare their defense. Derkarabetian. who threw the grenade, will be charged with premeditated murder, willful manslaughter, damage to foreign property and illegal possesion of explosives. Murat will be charged as his accomplice.

In New York, commenting on bombing of an El Al office in Athens, Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the American Zionist Council, said “it once again points up the need for immediate and effective action by all governments against acts of terrorism committed by Arab guerrillas outside the Middle East.” He said that “it was obvious that bombs cannot distinguish between citizens of one country and another–and unless the full penalties of the law are applied to these terrorists, the governments upon whose territories these insane actions are perpetrated are inviting chaos and terror to be the order of the day in international civil aviation.”

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