Argentina Israel embassy attack marked 20 years later

By Jennifer Lipman, March 16, 2012

Argentina's Jewish community is this weekend marking 20 years since the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.

In 1992 a bomb destroyed the embassy complex as well as a church and local school, killing 29 people and wounding nearly 250. Two years later, 85 people died when the Buenos Aires Jewish-Argentine Mutual Association was bombed. The 1994 explosion reduced the seven-floor building to a pile of rubble.

Investigators have linked Iran to both attacks, and there are six Iranians on Interpol's most wanted list for suspected involvement in the 1994 blast, but no arrests have been made.

Tomorrow marks two decades on from the embassy attack, and survivors and community members will attend a ceremony later today to commemorate the victims. The Argentin i an vice president, Amado Boudou, is expected to be present, as is Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. Elsewhere in the city, photos of those who survived the attack will go on show.

Speaking this week to the Jerusalem Post, survivor Lea Kovensky expressed grief at the failure of the authorities to bring those responsible to justice. "Perhaps the failure to find those who planned the attack on the embassy is what led to the second attack on the AMIA building," she said.

The World Jewish Congress called for the international community to "take decisive action against" Iran. Describing the Iranian regime as "murderous", the organisation's secretary-general Dan Diker said: "Iran and its allies continue to sow violence and terror not just in the Middle East, but around the globe.

"The regime in Tehran must realise that orchestrating mass killings of innocent people in far-away countries will not go unpunished."

"Justice must be done if we want to avoid that such terrible acts happen again in the future," added Jack Terpins, president of the Latin American Jewish Congress.

Last updated: 4:12pm, March 16 2012