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Israeli athletes’ families to get $28M

Germany confirms sum ahead of deadly 1972 Olympics attack’s anniversary by The Associated Press | September 3, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
FILE - A member of the Arab Commando group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic Team at their quarters at the Olympic Village appearing with a hood over his face stands on the balcony of the building where the commandos held members of the Israeli team hostage in Munich, Sept. 5, 1972. The families of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian attackers at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich and the German government are close to reaching a deal over the long-disputed amount of the compensation. (AP Photo/Kurt Strumpf, File)

BERLIN -- The German government confirmed Friday that families of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian militants at the 1972 Munich Olympics will receive a total of $28 million in compensation.

The figure -- which includes payments already made -- was previously reported by German and Israeli media but not officially announced by the government.

It's a significant increase from the initial $10 million offer to the families ahead of the 50th anniversary of the attack, which will be commemorated Monday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz "is very glad about the agreement achieved with the families of the victims," government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit told reporters in Berlin.

"Germany is emphasizing its responsibility for the mistakes that were made there in 1972, but also in the decades that followed," he added.

As part of an agreement with the families, Germany has agreed to acknowledge failures that authorities made at the time, and allow German and Israeli historians to review the events surrounding the attack.

Members of the Palestinian group Black September broke into the Olympic Village, killed two athletes from Israel's national team and took nine more hostage on Sept. 5, 1972. The attackers hoped to force the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as well as two left-wing extremists in West German jails.

All nine hostages and a West German police officer died during a rescue attempt by German forces. Relatives of the athletes accuse Germany of failing to secure the Olympic Village, refusing Israeli help and then botching the rescue operation.

Immediately after the attack, Germany made payments to relatives of the victims amounting to about $2 million, according to the country's interior ministry. In 2002, the surviving relatives received an additional $3 million, Germany's dpa news agency reported.

Asked whether Germany would welcome an apology for the attack from the current Palestinian leadership, Hebestreit said: "Yes, I would."

He said the issue was not discussed at a recent meeting in Berlin with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who dismissed questions about a possible apology and accused Israel of committing "50 Holocausts" against Palestinians, sparking outrage in Germany and beyond.

  photo  A memorial plaque for the eleven athletes from Israel and one German police officer were killed in a terrorist attack during the Olympic Games 1972, stands at the former accommodation of the Israeli team in the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. The families of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian attackers at the 1972 Summer Olympics and the German government are close to reaching a deal over the long-disputed amount of the compensation. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
 
 
  photo  A memorial plaque for the eleven athletes from Israel and one German police officer were killed in a terrorist attack during the Olympic Games 1972, stands at the former accommodation of the Israeli team in the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. The families of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian attackers at the 1972 Summer Olympics and the German government are close to reaching a deal over the long-disputed amount of the compensation. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
 
 

Print Headline: Israeli athletes’ families to get $28M

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