Israeli Students Join Families of Munich Victims in Protest Outside French Embassy in Tel Aviv

Hundreds of students joined the families of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics in a demonstration outside the French Embassy in Tel Aviv today to protest France’s release of Abu Daoud, the Palestinian terrorist believed responsible for the Munich massacre. Earlier in the day, the French Ambassador Jean Herly visited the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem where he was given stiff verbal and written protest by the Israeli government to transmit to Paris.

The demonstrators in Tel Aviv, carrying signs condemning France for “giving shelter to murderers” tried to break into the Embassy grounds at one point but were prevented by cordons of police who set up barriers around the building. Mrs. Ilana Romano, widow of weightlifter Moshe Romano who was one of the 11 Munich victims, demanded that the French Ambassador go home. “His coat, his chair are stained with blood,” she told reporters.

Herly got a cold reception at the Foreign Ministry. He had been summoned there yesterday by Foreign Minister Yigal Allon but was received by the ministry’s deputy director general. Ephraim Evron. The fact that Allon did not meet with the envoy was seen as a further sign of Israel’s anger and the serious strain in Franco-Israeli relations.

OUTLINES LEGAL ARGUMENTS

Evron outlined the legal arguments against the release of Daoud which were detailed in a document Herly was asked to convey to his government. He noted that Israel’s disappointment in its relations with France ante-dated the latest crisis. He said that statements favoring a Palestinian state, made by the French Foreign Minister, conflicted with France’s position as presented by its Ambassador in Israel.

The Israeli official rejected Herly’s justification of the French action on legal grounds as irrelevant. He stressed that honoring human life and mutual agreements were two of the basic principles that governed international relations. The Foreign Ministry is awaiting the return of Israel’s Ambassador to France, Mordechai Gazit, who was recalled yesterday for consultations on future Franco-Israeli relations. But no further diplomatic measures were expected to be taken by Israel.

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