ATHENS (Jul. 14)
Israel sent a message to Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias Wednesday condemning the terrorist attack on a Greek car ferry last Monday, and calling for “strong and adequate measures in order to counter and eliminate international terrorism through determined actions.”
The message from Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres expressed condolences over the loss of nine lives and the 88 people wounded, 60 of them seriously.
There has been no confirmation on what group was responsible for the actions, but it now appears that there may have been a Palestinian link to the action.
A previously unknown group, calling itself the Organization of the Martyrs of the Popular Revolution in Palestine, sent a statement to a Western news agency in Beirut Wednesday claiming responsibility.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, however, has strongly condemned the attack.
Greek authorities are circulating photographs of two suspects, identified as Mohammed Zozad and Hamoud Abdul Hamid, who both entered Greece last May on Lebanese passports.
Peres’ message said: “I would like to express on behalf of the government and people of Israel our shock and abhorrence at the criminal terrorist boat and each innocent passenger.
‘BARBARIC AND VICIOUS’
“This barbaric and vicious act proves again to all of us the crying need to undertake strong and adequate measures in order to counter and eliminate international terrorism through determined actions and by international cooperation.”
The attack on the ferry, City of Poros, was also deplored by Seymour Reich, international president of B’nai B’rith.
In a statement released in Washington Wednesday, Reich said “We deplore the loss of life taken so brutally and casually and extend our sympathies to the victims and other families, so removed from any connection with the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
But Reich chided Greece for being “one of the most accommodating” among the Western European nations “in according diplomatic status to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“Athens is now learning that appeasement of international terrorism…serves to invite terrorist disdain, lawlessness, violence and murder,” the B’nai B’rith leader said.
The City of Poros, a car ferry employed as an excursion ship, was attacked Monday while on a one-day cruise Monday in the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea with 471 passengers.