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Israeli Officers, Soldiers, Did Not Participate in Munich Rescue Effort

An authoritative spokesman described as nonsense last night reports from Germany that Israeli officers and soldiers participated in the abortive attempt by Munich police to rescue nine Israeli hostages held by Arab terrorists in Munich last week. “Had an Israeli unit been involved, the result would have been different,” the spokesman said.

He also dismissed reports that Israeli advisors were involved in planning the rescue operation. The spokesman said that an Israeli military personality did go to Munich at the time but his criticism of the German rescue plan was brushed aside. (Munich’s chief police inspector Georg Schmidt said yesterday that two Israeli officers were involved but only as observers and did not participate in the operation.)

Egypt’s Middle East News Agency seized on that revelation to claim that Defense Minister Moshe Dayan himself had gone to Munich to direct the rescue operation. The newspaper Yediot Achronot claimed today that Dayan actually planned to go to Munich but was observed by reporters at Lod Airport and had to call off the trip.