TEL AVIV (Mar. 13)
The Black September terrorist gang claimed today that it was responsible for the murder yesterday of a 59-year-old Israeli leather merchant, Simha Glitzer, in Nicosia, Cyprus. According to a terrorist radio broadcast monitored here, Glitzer was slain because he was involved in “Israeli espionage” in Cyprus. Glitzer was shot by a Jordanian student, Eidan Sulieman Maali. Glitzer’s body will be flown to Israel tomorrow for burial.
A Nicosia court issued a detention order today for Maali and police were combing the island for the killer. Cypriot police said he might be hiding out in an Arab legation. They said earlier reports that he may have escaped aboard a Beirut-bound plane with a forged passport were improbable. According to the police, the Lebanese airline plane left 45 minutes after the killing. By that time the airport had been blocked and a description of the Jordanian gunman had been circulated.
The search for Maali was being hampered, however, by the fact that the two Cypriot communities. Greek and Turkish, have separate police forces. The Cypriot Minister of Trade and Industry expressed shock at the murder of Glitzer who he knew personally from his frequent business trips to Cyprus.
Police said that Glitzer, who owned a leather tannery in Petach Tikva, arrived in Cyprus on his way home to Israel from Europe. But they said he delayed his departure for Israel for 24 hours to wait for part of his baggage that had gone astray and was placed on a later plane.
Instead of leaving Cyprus on Sunday as he planned, Glitzer waited until yesterday and was fatally shot as he left the Nicosia Palace Hotel on the way to the airport. Glitzer was described by friends here as a religiously observant man who contributed to various yeshivot and other needy causes.