Israel has denied it has assassinated most of those responsible for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community building in Buenos Aires, following claims from the former Israeli ambassador to Argentina.
The claim by Yitzhak Aviran, who was the envoy from 1993 to 2000, was dismissed as “pure fantasy” in a government statement, but despite the denials, speculation has continued to swirl after Aviran’s comments.
“The vast majority of the guilty parties are in another world, and this is something we did,” Aviran told a Spanish-language news service, without identifying who had been killed or how.
“The statements by former ambassador Aviran, who has been in retirement for 15 years, are completely disconnected from reality,” the ministry said.
“These remarks, made on no authority nor knowledge, are pure fantasy and do not reflect in any way events or facts such as he pretends to depict.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor also weighed in, calling the claim by the retired diplomat “complete nonsense”.
However, Buenos Aires prosecutor Alberto Nisman said he would ask the Israeli and Argentine governments to order an Israeli judge to make Aviran explain who was killed and what proof he has of the assassinations.
Eighty-five people died in the 1994 suicide bombing at the multi-story AMIA building and hundreds more were wounded. Two years earlier a car bomb exploded in front of the Israeli embassy, killing 29 and injuring 200.
Aviran’s comments brought to mind the Israeli response to the 1972 Munich Games massacre, during which 11 Israeli athletes were kidnapped and then killed by Palestinian terrorist group Black September. The subsequent hunt for those responsible has since been immortalised in films and books.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was instead working with their South American colleagues to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Israel continues to cooperate in full transparency with Argentina in investigating the bombings which took place in Buenos Aires against the Embassy of Israel (1992) and the AMIA Jewish Community Center (1994).”