JERUSALEM (Oct. 1)
Premier Golda Meir denied today a report that the Koppel Commission, investigating security measures that were taken in Munich during the Olympic games, had suggested that the responsibility for the security services be shifted from her office to the office of the Defense Minister. The Premier, through a Cabinet spokesman, also denied a flurry of news reports that have cropped up in the past few days over the nature of recommendations contained in the report which she received Friday afternoon. The report is said to have pointed out some security shortcomings in the arrangements surrounding the Israeli athletic delegation in Munich. It is also described as particularly critical of the lack of proper security measures taken by West German authorities.
Mrs. Meir commissioned the report Sept. 13 after appointing a three-man panel to investigate possible lapses of Israeli security and other security matters in connection with the slaying of the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes. The panel was headed by former Police Chief Pinhas Koppel. Its other members were Avigdor Bartel, director general of the Haifa refineries, and Moshe Kashti, managing director of the Zim shipping lines. Mrs. Meir told the Cabinet today that she was still studying the bulky report and would give the rest of the Cabinet copies to study in the next few days in preparation for next Sunday’s Cabinet meeting.
She also told the Cabinet that she has appointed Major- General Aharon Yariv (Reserves) to the newly-created post of advisor on special matters. Yariv, 52, has just retired as head of military intelligence, a position he held for the last eight years, Mrs. Meir said she approached him before receiving the Koppel report.
Observers pointed out that the announcement of the Yariv appointment comes only a few days before the Cabinet will digest the Koppel report. It appeared likely that Yariv would oversee the implementation of the commission’s recommendations in his new job. The commission submitted its report to Mrs. Meir on Friday, four days after the deadline set by the Prime Minister in her letter of appointment. There was still no indication yet whether any or all of the commission’s recommendations would be made public.
On Sept. 19, an official West German report absolved German police and political authorities of any blame for the deaths of the 11 Israeli athletes. The 71-page document defended the decisions and actions of the police and other officials during the ill-fated attempt to rescue the Israelis from Arab terrorists who had attacked the Olympic Village and taken them hostage.