Jerusalem, July 18, 2003

Ninth Anniversary of the Terrorist Attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Building in Argentina
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

To mark the ninth anniversary (July 18) of the terrorist attack on the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom sent the following message to the Jewish community in Argentina, the Argentinean people, and the families of the terrorist victims:

Today, exactly nine years ago, at 09:53 in the morning, an enormous explosion shook Pastar Street in Buenos Aires. A car carrying hundreds of kilograms of explosives driven by a suicide bomber exploded inside the gates of the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires – the AMIA building.

As a result of the explosion, 85 innocent Argentinean civilians were killed, and 230 were wounded – Jews and non-Jews. As a result of the force of this heinous terrorist bombing, the AMIA building collapsed, along with adjacent buildings. The street was a scene of destruction and devastation. This terrorist atrocity, which killed so many people and destroyed so many homes will remain, in eternal shame, a testament to the cruelty of terrorism, whose architects and perpetrators are known to all and who are still walking freely.

The Israeli government and people bow their heads on this day in memory of the victims of this terrorist attack, which was directed against innocent civilians who had done no wrong. As a country that has fought terrorism from the day it was established, Israel is confident that the Argentinean government will continue its work to expose the truth, and that it will bring to justice those who dispatched the terrorists and who perpetrated this heinous crime, for which there can be no forgiveness or atonement.

On this very day and at this time, Israel expresses its hope that the leaders of the international community will continue to act with courage and determination to eliminate terrorism, while exhausting all the legal options in this struggle, in order to prohibit and prevent the activity of the terrorist organizations and their supporters, in order that they stop threatening and undermining the security of our society.