ATHENS: A grenade thrown at the El Al, Israeli airlines office here today [Nov 27], apparently by an El-Fatah commando, injured 22 people, three of them seriously. The grenade was thrown at 9:20 a.m. when the offices were crowded with people making air reservations. Many of the injured were children, thirteen of them were admitted to hospital.

Police said they were questioning a 23-year-old Arab, Ilyas Dekara Bedian, who was taken into custody after a pavement struggle with a passerby immediately after the explosion. ... Airports and frontier posts were warned to look out for another young man, said to have run away. Dekara Bedian was said to be a tailor, resident in Damascus, and to have arrived in Greece four days ago. The official Greek news agency ANA said the man is a Jordanian member of the El-Fatah Liberation Movement.

In December last year, Palestinian commands attacked an El Al airliner at Athens airport with machine guns and grenade killing a passenger.

In Tel Aviv, no official statement had yet been issued ... but political circles recalled recent statements by both Defence Minister Moshe Dayan and Transport Minister Moshe Karmel to the effect that if attacks against Israeli airliners continued, “no Arab aircraft will be able to take off”. — Agency

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2019