WASHINGTON (Jul. 1)
The Israeli air attache in Washington, Col. Joseph Allon, was shot to death early this morning outside his home at Chevy Chase, Montgomery County, Maryland.
Montgomery County police told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that they have no clue as yet to the identity or the number of persons involved in the killing. Both police and Israeli circles refused to say whether the 44-year-old officer was shot for political reasons or by would-be robbers.
The shooting occurred as Col. Allon was walking to his front door at 12:30 this morning after-having parked his car in the garage. His wife, who was waiting for him under the porch, heard shots and rushed to find him lying on the ground wounded. Rushed to the hospital he was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. Col. and Mrs. Allon had been attending-an Israel Embassy party.
President Nixon ordered a special U.S. Air Force plane put at the disposal of the Israel Embassy today to fly Col. Allon’s body to Israel for burial. It was scheduled to leave Andrews Air Force base this afternoon. Col. Allon’s family will accompany the coffin on the plane.
Secretary of State William P. Rogers has sent a message of condolence to Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban expressing his “sorrow” at the incident.
Chevy Chase is an upper class residential district some 12 miles outside Washington. Considered relatively safe, it has nonetheless been the scene of a number of muggings and attacks in recent months.
Col. Allon was born in Beth Alfa in Palestine but his family returned to Czechoslovakia when he was two. He lived there until World War II when he managed to escape to Norway. He returned to Palestine immediately after the war and joined the air arm of Haganah which in 1948 became the Israel Air Force.
Col. Allon was one of the first pilots trained in Israel and received his wings from Premier David Ben Gurion. He commanded the first squadron of French-built Mirage jets in the Israel Air Force and was subsequently appointed to the command of an air base. He was posted to the Israel Embassy in Washington about 18 months ago as deputy military attache and air attache.
(In New York today, Jacob Stein, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued a statement condemning the murder of Col. Allon. “We expect the full resources of the law enforcement agencies of our government to be used in the apprehension and prosecution of the killers,” the statement said. Stein extended condolences to Col. Allon’s widow and three daughters.)