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Families of Munich Attack Victims Demand 110Mln Euros in Compensation from Libya

Families of Munich Attack Victims Demand 110Mln Euros in Compensation from Libya

Monday, 29 November, 2021 - 08:00
A Palestinian gunman at the Munich Olympic village where members of the Israeli team were held hostage, Sept. 5, 1972. (AP/Kurt Strumpf, File)

Families of the 11 Israeli athletes who were killed in a Palestinian attack at the Munich Olympics 49 years ago demand that the United Nations provide them with 110 million euros ($124.5 million) in compensation.

Supported by the Israeli government, the families asked the UN to grant them compensation from slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s funds, which were confiscated by the organization after his death in 2011, according to a report by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung.

They claim Gaddafi contributed to financing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which carried out the attack on the Israeli athletes, and therefore they are entitled to receive compensation from Libya.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan assisted in presenting the UN with documents that prove Gaddafi's involvement.

Erdan also provided the Bar Association representing the families of the dead Israeli athletes with a report stating that some of the gunmen entered Germany with forged Libyan passports, granting them access to the Olympics ground to carry out the attack.

“Gaddafi awarded then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat $5 million as a gift for the attack,” it read, adding that the gunmen were trained on Libyan soil.

On Sept. 5, 1972, during the 20th Olympic Games, eight gunmen from the PLO splinter group “Black September” raided the Israeli team’s quarters in the Olympic village in Munich, Germany.

They killed an Israeli weightlifter and a wrestling coach almost immediately, took nine others hostage and demanded the release of 236 prisoners held in Israel.

Later at Fuerstenfeldbruck military airfield near Munich, from where the gunmen were hoping to leave Germany, police opened fire and a gunfight erupted.

All nine hostages were killed in two helicopters that had ferried them there from the Olympic site, and five of the gunmen and a policeman also died.

Three remaining gunmen, who were captured alive, were freed when Palestinian hijackers took a Lufthansa airliner in Oct. 1972.

They were flown to Libya where they received a hero’s welcome.

Israel responded by sending agents to kill the men it considered were the masterminds of the attack, in an alleged covert operation that lasted a number of years.

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