June 8, 2023

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Israeli president to attend 1972 Munich massacre memorial

Israeli president to attend 1972 Munich massacre memorial

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog is to attend a memorial next week for 11 Israelis killed in an attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, his office said Thursday.

Herzog’s participation alongside his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier follows Berlin striking a compensation deal with relatives of the Israeli victims.

“The memorial will be attended by a large audience, including the victims’ families, representatives of the Olympic Committee of Israel, and leaders of Germany,” Herzog’s office said in a statement.

Palestinian gunmen from the Black September militant group snuck into the Olympic village on September 5, 1972, and immediately killed two members of the Israeli team.

They took nine others hostage, who were killed in a botched German operation to free them.

Relatives of the victims had threatened to stay away from Monday’s memorial in Munich, as they campaigned for an official German apology and compensation beyond the $4.5 million already provided.

Berlin on Wednesday announced the state would pay $28 million more to the families.

Ankie Spitzer, whose husband Andre Spitzer was killed as part of the Olympic team, told AFP that she and around 70 other relatives will attend the ceremony.

A spokeswoman for the Israel Olympics Committee confirmed a delegation will travel to Munich.

During Herzog’s three-day visit to Germany, his office said he will meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz and address parliament in Berlin.

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