Israel Considers Compensation for Widow of Moroccan Killed By Mistake
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel has agreed to negotiate compensation for the family of a Moroccan waiter killed in Norway 22 years ago by agents who mistook him for a top terrorist, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Prime Minister Shimon Peres has asked an attorney to meet with lawyers representing relatives of Ahmed Bouchikhi concerning their financial claims, Peres spokesman Aviv Shiran said.
Peres has stressed that Israel would not discuss the question of responsibility for the killing. But Israel was prepared to hold talks aimed at ``ending the continuous preoccupation with the affair,″ Shiran said.
Norwegian Prime Minister Bjorn Tore Godal said he welcomed Peres’ decision.
Bouchikhi was shot dead on July 21, 1973, in Lillehammer as he walked home with his pregnant Norwegian wife,
Five people, identified at their trial as Israeli agents, were convicted of involvement in the shooting and served prison terms from seven to 22 months.
Aharon Yariv, an adviser on terrorism to Prime Minister Golda Meir at the time of the killing, admitted years later in a BBC television interview that Israel had carried out the killing.
He said Bouchikhi was wrongly identified as Hassan Salameh, a top PLO official held responsible for planning the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
Salameh was killed in a car-bomb explosion in Beirut in 1979.
Last Tuesday, Communications Minister Shulamit Aloni said Israel ought to compensate the widow. Toril Larsen Boushikhi, who has demanded an apology as well.
Peres has asked attorney Annon Goldenberg to meet with the Boushikhi’s lawyers.
``Israel cannot be indifferent to public opinion in Norway, which is a very friendly country,″ said Justice Minister David Libai. ``There is no point in sticking our heads in the sand as though nothing had happened.″