TEL AVIV (Aug. 31)
Israel’s Defense Ministry has ordered the families of Israelis working in Colombia to leave the country immediately because of the tense situation there.
The order applies to the families of 40 employees of Israel Aircraft Industries and Tadiran, a military industry, who are working under defense contracts with the Colombian government.
Their work includes the delivery and maintenance of Kfirs, the Israel-made jet fighter planes sold to the Colombian air force.
The Defense Ministry said the evacuation order may be only temporary. There has been a series of bombings and assassinations in Colombia lately linked to the drug cartel’s war against the government.
Meanwhile, police said Thursday that they will drop their investigation of several Israel Defense Force reserve officers if no information is received by next week to substantiate allegations that they trained assassination squads for the Colombian drug cartel.
The police have requested material from the Colombian authorities and sent two reminders so far, which have gone unanswered.
The Colombians, instead of providing fresh information, asked the Israeli police for the results of their probe.
The Israeli police criminal investigation division has questioned Lt. Col. Yair Klein, head of the Hod Hahanit security consultant firm, and several of his associates who allegedly provided military equipment and know-how to unofficial groups in Colombia.
Klein said he trained security guards for Colombian farmers and ranchers to defend themselves against cattle rustlers and guerrillas.