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U.S. Jews Join Argentines in Remembering Bombing

March 19, 1996
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Argentine Jews, joined by Israeli and American representatives, marked the 20 months that have elapsed since the bombing of the Jewish headquarters here.

As more than 500 people gathered Monday outside the Argentine Supreme Court to commemorate the July 18, 1994, bombing, Argentina joined with two neighboring countries to sign an agreement designed to crack down on terrorists operating in the region.

The investigation into the bombing of the Argentine Mutual Aid Association, or AMIA, has been marked by a frustrating succession of false leads.

The bombing claimed 86 lives and left more than 300 wounded.

As part of Monday’s commemorations, the crowd gathered as the blast site and lit 86 candles while the names of the victims were read aloud.

Avraham Burg, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, told the gathering that Israel “will rest only when the case is solved and the terrorists brought to justice.”

A 56-member delegation from the United Jewish Federation of MetroWest in New Jersey also participated.

“When Jews are killed anywhere, we feel the same pain,” said Stanley Strauss, the federation’s president.

Also unsolved is the March 17, 1992, bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 people and left more than 100 injured.

The fourth anniversary of the embassy bombing came Sunday amid a warning from Israel’s ambassador to Argentina, Itzhak Aviran, that the Islamic fundamentalist Hezbollah movement could launch another attack against a Jewish target here.

Israel and Argentina have accused Hezbollah of carrying out the two bombings.

Argentina’s interior minister, Carlos Corach, is scheduled to visit Israel next week to meet with Prime Minister Shimon Peres and discuss cooperation in countering Islamic extremists.

Meanwhile, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay signed a pact Monday to coordinate border patrols and crack down on terrorism and drug trafficking in their common border area near Ciudad del Este, a commercial city in southeastern Paraguay.

The treaty calls for full cooperation between the security services of the three countries for an upgrading of facilities to control the movement of people and vehicles in the busy international border region.

Intelligence source have described Ciudad del Este as a smuggling center with a large Arab community.

Argentine police claim that Arab terrorist groups maintain cells and support bases in the city.

According to the Argentine judiciary and police, those cells were involved in both the AMIA and Israeli Embassy bombings.

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