BRUSSELS (Sep. 11)
A 42-year-old Israeli diplomat, Zadok Offir, was shot down last night in central Brussels in what police circles here believe is a renewed terrorist attack. Offir, who was hit by four bullets, is at the St. Pierre Hospital, where a hospital spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency he is “definitely off the danger list.”
Israeli Embassy spokesman, Eliezer Palmor, told the JTA that an Arab who identified himself as Mohamed Ahmed Rabbah, phoned the Israeli Embassy yesterday afternoon and said he knew about Palestinian plans to attack an Israeli installation in Brussels. He volunteered to supply added information, but said the meeting must take place in a cafe in downtown Brussels. He arranged to meet with Offir at the Princess Cafe at 8 p.m.
Witnesses, including the cafe owner, differed in their versions of how the shoot-out occurred. Some witnesses say the two men met in front of the cafe, exchanged a few words and the Arab shot Offir with a pistol. Another version is that two Arabs entered the cafe where Offir was waiting and opened fire on him with a machine gun. Police sources told JTA that a search and arrest warrant has been issued against a 36-year-old former Moroccan officer, Hassan Ben Joudat, who it is believed may have been Offir’s assailant.
Joudat was already sentenced in Belgium to one year imprisonment after having attacked the Moroccan Embassy on Nov. 16, 1970 “on behalf of the Fatah organization.” He was released from prison a few months ago. Offir, who was born in Haifa in 1930, is married and has two children, and according to the Embassy, has been employed in “administrative capacities.”