Argentina Wants Former Israeli Diplomat to Testify in Attack Probe

Yitzhak Aviran, the Israeli ambassador to Argentina during the 1994 bombing, said in an interview that Israel had 'taken care' of the bombers.

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A man holds a sign reading 'I am Nisman' during a demonstration in Buenos Aires in the wake of the death of Argentine public prosecutor Alberto Nisman, January 19, 2015. Credit: AFP

DPA — Argentina will seek to have a former Israeli diplomat testify in connection with the attack on a Jewish community center in 1994, Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said on Sunday.

The former diplomat is Yitzhak Aviran, who was Israeli ambassador to Argentina at the time of the Buenos Aires attack, which claimed the lives of 85 people.

Aviran hinted in an interview with the Argentinian Jewish News Agency in January that a majority of those responsible for the 1994 bombing were dead. “We took care of this on our own,” he said.

The Israeli government denied Aviran’s statement at the time.

Hezbollah’s chief of operations, Imad Mughniyah, who was suspected of involvement in planning and carrying out the attack on the Jewish centre, was assassinated in 2008 in a bombing in Damascus. Israel never claimed responsibility for Mughniyah’s death, but Hezbollah blamed Israel.

Argentinian special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who had been investigating the attack on the community centre for 11 years, was found dead in his apartment under mysterious circumstances in January. He had demanded Aviran be summoned for investigation after his comments.

Nisman’s death has shaken Argentina’s political establishment. On Thursday a judge dismissed charges against Fernandez de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman over an alleged cover-up of the attack.