Italian president joins Rome’s Jews in marking ’82 attack

By JTA
October 11, 2012 08:28

 
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Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano participated in a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of a terror attack on Rome’s main synagogue that killed a toddler.

Speaking at the commemoration in Rome, the city's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, said the Oct. 9, 1982 attack had not been an “isolated event.” Di Segni said it had taken place amid a virulent “campaign to demonize Jews” in the wake of the Israeli war with Lebanon in the summer of 1982 and the massacre of civilians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in September that year.

In the attack, Palestinian terrorists believed to be part of the Abu Nidal group hurled hand grenades and fired on worshipers leaving the synagogue after Shemini Atzeret services.

Riccardo Pacifici, the president of the Rome Jewish community, said many “open questions” remain about the attack, which injured dozens.

Jewish leaders thanked Napolitano for taking part in the ceremony and for supporting the Jewish community. Napolitano presented a medal to the brother of Stefano Gay Tache, the child victim, recalling the toddler as a "victim of terrorism." Other senior political leaders also participated in the commemoration.

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