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Israel Memorializes Embassy Dead, Denies It Was Warned by Argentina

March 25, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel held memorial services Tuesday for the four Israelis who died in the bombing of its embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17 and for the security chief at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, killed a week earlier in his booby-trapped car.

As the victims of terrorism were eulogized, Israel sharply denied allegations from Buenos Aires that it had gotten a warning from Argentine intelligence in advance of the bomb blast.

Israel’s ambassador to Argentina, Yitzhak Shefi, denounced that claim as an attempt “to shift the blame” from Argentina for the security lapse, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

Israel maintains that security in the street outside of the embassy was the responsibility of the Argentine police and security authorities.

“We received no specific warning,” officials here said. “There is a general alert all the time, but there was nothing specifically relating to this,” they said.

Israel Radio said the chief of security services in Argentina had denied the allegations.

Shefi was reported to have expressed confidence that Argentine and Israeli intelligence would together track down the perpetrators. He said several possibilities are being checked, including Arab, international and local terrorists.

The memorial was held at the Foreign Ministry, where Yossi Gal, chairman of the foreign service workers committee, spoke of the sense of family that accompanies members of the Israeli diplomatic corps to their overseas posts.

They know someone in Jerusalem cares about them, he said.

Killed in the explosion that destroyed the embassy building and injured some 250 people in its vicinity were David Ben-Raphael, Zahava Zahavi, Eliora Carmon and Eli Ben Ze’ev. Their bodies were flown to Israel for burial.

Ben-Raphael, the deputy chief of mission at the embassy, was the son of Ralph Goldman, honorary executive vice president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Zahavi was the wife of the embassy’s first secretary and was herself a secretary there; Carmon was the wife of Consul Danny Carmon; and Ben-Ze’ev was the embassy’s security officer.

Included in the memorial service was Ehud Sedan, a former police officer who headed security at the Ankara embassy. He was killed March 7 when his car was blown up in an outdoor market.

The Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported this week that Turkish authorities had arrested a number of members of the Shi’ite fundamentalist Hezbollah in connection with the bombing.

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