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Israel Blames PLO for the Murder of an Israeli Diplomat in Paris

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Israel is blaming the Palestine Liberation Organization for the murder in Paris yesterday of an Israeli diplomat, Yaacov Bar-Simantov. (See related story). The Cabinet sent condolences to his family and issued a statement of tribute at its session today.

But no details of its discussion of the matter were released. Cabinet Secretary Dan Meridor said the ministers convened for part of the time as a security committee, the deliberations of which are classified.

Those deliberations today are believed to have been devoted largely to the killing in Paris. Foreign Ministry spokesman Avi Pazner said yesterday that the attack was “the second PLO-perpetrated terrorist act in Paris against us in a week.” He was referring to a machinegun attack on the Israeli Trade Mission there by three masked gunmen Wednesday afternoon. No one was hurt and the assailants escaped in a car.

‘VILE AND COWARDLY ACT’

Referring to the murder of Bar-Simantov, Pazner said “Israel strongly condemns this vile and cowardly act. It sheds further light on the terrorist nature and true aims of the PLO.” Unofficially, Israeli sources made it clear today that they hold the PLO responsible for the attack and regard it as a violation of the cease-fire agreement on the Lebanese border which took effect last July.

A group calling itself the Lebanese “Armed Revolutionary Faction” claimed credit for yesterday’s murder and for the attack on the Trade Mission. Sources here said that group was one of the extremist arms of the Palestinian terrorist establishment.

They said the PLO is held responsible for terrorist acts committed by organizations not directly subordinate to the PLO because the PLO arms and trains such organizations. Israel has frequently stated that it regards the cease-fire agreement applicable to acts of terror against Israel anywhere in the world, not just across the Lebanese border. According to the Israelis, all such acts originate at PLO headquarters in Beirut.

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