INTRODUCTION There were strong reactions in Israel on Wednesday (12 January) to a French court releasing Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Daoud the previous day.
INTRODUCTION There were strong reactions in Israel on Wednesday (12 January) to a French court releasing Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Daoud the previous day. Daoud, who was in Paris for the funeral of a fellow Palestinian murdered there last week, is suspected of planning the attack on Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich in 1972 in which 17 people were killed. Israel has recalled its French Ambassador for consultations because of the decision. French police arrested M. Daoud at his Paris hotel on Friday (7 January) but the court on Tuesday (11 January) ruled against an Israeli extradition demand and a request from West Germany for his continued detention. M. Daoud was allowed to leave the country and he flew to Algeria later in the day.
SYNOPSIS: In Algiers, M. Daoud blamed his arrest on some groups in the French police who, he said, were trying to sabotage relations??? between France and the Arab states.
He told a press conference after his arrival that these groups had acted in the interests of zionism, not of France.
In the Israeli capital Tel Aviv, hundreds of shouting youths tried to push through police barriers around the French embassy. The protestors yelled slogans branding French President Giscard d'Estaing as a nazi.
Children of the eleven Israeli athletes killed at Munich carried pictures of their fathers and one of the dead men's widows gave her reaction.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon said Abu Daoud's release would only encourage terrorism.
As Mr. Allon spoke in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the Israeli ambassador to France, Mordechai Gazit, was leaving Paris. Asked by French reporters why he was leaving, he said his return home was a gesture of this country's profound disapproval at the French decision on Abu Daoud.
M. Gazit said that in such a serious affair as someone suspected of mass murder, the least that one could expect was that Israeli officials should have been given enough time to complete the dossier before M. Daoud was released. He added that M. Daoud's quick release was a direct violation of the extradition agreement between France and Israel.