JERUSALEM (Jun. 13)
Bowing to German pressure, outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Israel’s security services Sunday to prevent the entry into the West Bank of Mohammad Daoud Odeh, who is responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre in which II Israeli athletes were murdered.
The premier also ordered that the VIP card of Daoud Odeh, who goes by the nom de guerre of Abu Daoud, be revoked.
Abu Daoud called the decision “illegal,” and said he would petition the High Court of Justice.
Abu Daoud has lived in the Palestinian self-rule areas without hindrance from the Israeli security authorities for the past three years, and even received the card as a Palestinian Authority official.
He was one of the members of the Palestine National Council who was allowed to enter the Palestinian territories in 1996 to annul the clauses of the Palestinian Covenant calling for Israel’s destruction.
The Israeli move came following a warrant calling for Abu Daoud’s arrest that was issued in Germany. The German warrant created a no-win situation for Israel, which chose to risk increasing tensions in its relations with the Palestinian Authority.
“When Germany wants the extradition of a wanted killer, it should address its request to the country where the killer happens to be at the moment,” said one of Netanyahu’s top aides, David Bar-Ilan.
“Since he is in Jordan, I presume it is for the Jordanian authorities to arrest him, or if he manages to get into the Palestinian Authority area, it should be the Palestinian Authority.”
In his autobiography published last month, Abu Daoud admitted that he planned the hostage-taking at the Munich Olympics, which led to the massacre.
Sources close to Netanyahu said the decision was taken without consultations with Premier-elect Ehud Barak.
“At this point, to enter into a situation which may have to be resolved by the next government would be unfair,” said Bar-Ilan, explaining why the government was hesitating to arrest Abu Daoud.
“That is why the situation is being resolved by simply not allowing Abu Daoud to enter an area in which Israel could arrest him.”