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Police report finding car used in attack on Israelis

August 21, 1985

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Police said Wednesday they found a stolen car believed to be the one used by gunmen who killed an Israeli diplomat and wounded his wife and secretary.

A group named Egypt’s Revolution claimed responsibility for the killing and vowed to strike ″until the Israeli colonialists leave the country.″ Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, the only Arab country to do so.

Israel’s embassy said submachine gun fire from a red Fiat carrying three men riddled the car of Albert Atrakchi as he drove through the Maadi suburb Tuesday.

The gunfire killed Atrakchi, a 30-year-old administrative attache posted to Israel’s Cairo embassy three months ago, and wounded his wife Ilana, 24, and secretary Mazal Menashe, 22.

After surgery, Mrs. Menashe gave Egyptian police a detailed description of the man who fired on the car and said she would be able to identify him, the embassy said.

Embassy spokesman Isaac Bar-Moshe quoted her as saying there were three men in the attack car, but only one fired.

An Egyptian police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, refused to say whether any suspects had been arrested. He added: ″We hope soon to be able to give you good news of arrests, but right now, it is not in favor of the investigations to speak.

″They (the attackers) left the car yesterday (Tuesday) after the attack and we found it. ... Of course we did not arrest its owner because it was stolen,″ he said. He would not give the make of the car or further details.

Atrakchi’s body and the two wounded women were flown home Wednesday on a scheduled flight of the Israeli airline, El Al.

Egypt is the only Arab country that has diplomatic relations with Israel. Most Arab nations severed relations with Egypt because of the peace treaty.

In a letter slipped under the door of a Western news agency in Cairo, the group calling itself Egypt’s Revolution group said the peace accord was a treaty of shame.

Libya, an enemy of both Egypt and Israel, praised the killing. The government-run news agency, JANA, called it ″another magnificent patriotic action on the road of ridding Egypt and its people from the humiliating agreements and once again confirming that the path has become narrow for the defeatists.″

Egypt’s tourism minister, Wagih Mohamed Shindy, was in Israel on Wednesday as part of an effort to speed normalization of relations between the two countries.

He told a news conference Egypt ″is completely against terrorism and will do everything possible to catch those responsible for this act and to present them to court.″

On June 5, 1984, Zvi Kedar, also an administrative attache at the Israeli Embassy, was shot in the hand and shoulder outside his house in Maadi. Egypt’s Revolution also claimed responsibility for that attack. Tuesday’s claim of responsibility, typewritten in Arabic, referred to the Kedar shooting.

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