Israel has agreed to compensate the family of a Moroccan waiter mistakenly killed by the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service.
Bringing to an end what was known for 23 years as the “Lillehammer Episode,” Israeli lawyer Amnon Goldenberg this week signed an agreement with the family of Ahmed Bouchiki, who was shot dead by Mossad agents in 1973 in Lillehammer, Norway.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two sides agreed to keep secret the exact amount of compensation Israel would make to Bouchiki’s family.
But the Israeli daily Ha’aretz cited Norwegian officials who put the figure at some $400,000 – a sum Israeli sources said “sounded reasonable.”
The money will be divided between Bouchiki’s widow, Toril, their daughter and his son from a previous marriage.
Toril Bouchiki, who was pregnant at the time, was with her husband the night he was killed.
The two had been walking home from a movie, when two Mossad agents opened fire, killing him.
The agents had mistaken Bouchiki for Hassan Salameh, a Palestinian terrorist believed to have masterminded the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
Salameh was killed in a 1979 car-bomb explosion in Lebanon.
Five Israeli agents were convicted and served short jail sentences in connection with Bouchiki’s slaying.
But Israel never took responsibility for the attack.
Nonetheless, in the wake of growing pressure from members of Bouchiki’s family as well as from the Norwegian government, Israel decided to address the issue.
While still not taking responsibility for the killing, Prime Minister Shimon Peres directed attorney Goldenberg to negotiate on Israel’s behalf with the Bouchiki family in what he described as a “humanitarian gesture.”
Israel’s ambassador to Norway told the Israeli daily Ha’aretz that the Bouchiki family, in accepting the compensation, would not submit any further claims against Israel.