Funeral services were held today in Petach Tikvah for Ernest Eliash and in Haifa for Shlomo Weisbach. They were among the four El Al passengers killed last week during the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Yasilkov Airport. The Israeli army chaplain ship burial unit arranged for the transfer of the coffins from Turkey to Petach Tikvah and Haifa and also arranged for the funerals. Also killed during the attack were Harold Rosenthal, an aide to Sen. Jacob Javits (R.NY) and Yakao Hiramo, a Japanese tourist guide.
The bodies of the two Israelis were brought back late last night by an El Al plane from Istanbul after a 24-hour delay because Turkish authorities wanted to conduct a second postmortem to determine whether they had been killed by the two terrorists or by Turkish police during the gun battle with the terrorists.
The cause of death had to be established with certainty in order to determine whether the terrorists could be charged under Turkish law with multiple homicide. According to one theory, the victims had been injured by a bomb the terrorists had exploded but killed by bullets fired from the guns of the Turkish police during the shoot-out.
The latest reports, however, confirm that Rosenthal and Hiramo were killed instantly by the bomb, thus enabling Turkish authorities to charge the terrorists with multiple homicide. There was no immediate information regarding the findings of the second post-mortem on the Israelis.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.