Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Belgian Jews Urge Government to Oust PLO from the Country

April 19, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Arab terrorist attack at the Brussels airport Monday has resulted in lighter security measures at other European airports and brought demands from the organized Jewish community of Belgium to oust the Palestine Liberation Organization representatives from the country.

The Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organizations sent telegrams to Justice Minister Renate Van Elslande and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henri Simonet, urging the government not to permit “those directly or indirectly responsible for the Brussels airport attack to remain and work in the country.”

Specifically, the committee which represents Belgium’s four major Jewish organizations asked for the closing of the PLO’s liaison offices in the country and for the expulsion of its representative in Brussels “before it is too late.”

The government issued an official communique condemning the attack and “whatever motives prompted it.” The communique recalled that Belgium has ratified the West European treaty against terrorism and promised to take all necessary measures to prevent a repetition of the incident.


Meanwhile, police sources said the two captured terrorists, Khaled Dayed Dogket and Mahmoud Hosseini, confessed that they had intended to injure as many EI AI passengers as possible at Zavantem International Airport Monday. They were quoted as saying that they threw a hand grenade into a crowd of waiting passengers when they realized that security measures prevented them from reaching passengers waiting for or disembarking from an Israeli airliner. All of the persons wounded in the attack were Belgian citizens.

The two terrorists arrived in Belgium last month with Iranian passports. They admitted that a woman helped them but refused to disclose her identity. The PLO representative in Brussels Naim Khader, said on a Belgian radio interview last night that his organization had nothing to do with the attack. “We had everything to lose and nothing to gain from this senseless attack against Belgian citizens,” Khader said. He charged that the attack was “an Israeli provocation.”

Immediately after the attack, the normally strict security measures at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport were lightened further. The same was true at the Geneva and Zurich airports where Swiss police reinforced the regular security guards. A police spokesman in Geneva, said emergency security measures have been put into effect there.

Recommended from JTA