Argentina to Compensate Victims of 1994 Jewish Center Bombing

Payment is to be made to the 300 injured and to the families of the 85 people killed in the attack, which Israel accuses Iran of ordering and Hezbollah of carrying out.

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Firefighters and rescue workers searching through the rubble of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community center, July 18, 1994.
Firefighters and rescue workers searching through the rubble of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community center, July 18, 1994.Credit: AP

The Argentine parliament passed a law on Wednesday providing compensation to victims of the 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 and injured another 300, the French AFP news agency has reported.

That incident followed another attack two years earlier in the Argentinian capital, in which a suicide bomber driving a pickup truck loaded with explosives smashed into the front of the Israeli embassy, killing 29 and injuring more than 200. Israel has blamed Iran for both attacks and in 2006 Argentinian prosecutors formally accused the Iranians of ordering the AMIA attack and alleged that the Lebanese-based Hezbollah militia group carried it out.

Remo Carolotto, the president of Argentina's human rights commission, announced that the compensation over the AMIA Jewish center bombing would be similar to that paid to victims of Argentina's military dictatorship that controlled the country between 1976 and 1983 as well as reparations paid the victims of the Israeli embassy bombing, according to AFP.

Argentine officials did not provide additional details regarding the compensation, but did say that it would be paid in a single payment to the injured and to the relatives of those who lost their lives, AFP said.

The AMIA bombing case has been particularly in the public eye since January 18, when one of the prosecutors in the case, Alberto Nisman, was found dead in his Bueno Aires apartment. Nisman died a day before he was due to address Argentina's Congress on his allegations that the country's president, Cristina Fernandez, conspired to cover up the bombing of the Jewish community center. Nisman claimed Fernandez opened a secret back channel to Iran to cover up Tehran's alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing and gain access to Iranian oil to help close Argentina's $7 billion per year energy deficit. Fernandez denied the allegations and in March a court threw out a case alleging that the president had obstructed justice in the investigation.

With reporting from Reuters.

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