French spies made deal with Palestinian terror group
France agreed not to target Palestinian militants who killed French Jews in Paris in 1982 if they did not further threaten French targets, a former intelligence chief has revealed.
Families of the victims of the 1982 attack are demanding a parliamentary inquiry.
They have called on President Emmanuel Macron to publish the government files on the attack.
Yves Bonnet, who led the now-disbanded DST service in the 1980s, told a judge investigating the August 9, 1982, murder of six Jews at a kosher restaurant on Rue des Rosiers (pictured) in Paris, Le Parisien has reported.
Another 22 people were injured in what was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in France since the Second World War.
The attackers threw a grenade into the restaurant then began shooting at diners and staff with rifles.
They threw a second grenade as they left. The incident lasted three minutes before the men escaped into the area’s maze of streets.
The suspects in the Jo Goldbenberg delicatessen attack are wanted for questioning under a 2015 French arrest warrant. One suspect lived in Jordan, another was near Ramallah in the West Bank and a third was in Norway, the CRIF French Jewish rights group said.
None of the three governments has agreed to extradite the suspects, whom French investigators believe belonged to the terror group of Sabri Khalil al-Banna, known as Abu Nidal, which was affiliated with Fatah.
The Abu Nidal Organisation was one of the most violent of the Palestinian groups. It was blamed for attacks in 20 countries which killed more than 300 people, including at Rome and Vienna airports in 1985.
“We entered a sort of verbal deal which tells them: I want no more attacks on French soil, but I will allow you to come to France and guarantee nothing will happen to you,” the 83-year-old Bonnet told the inquest in January.
“It worked. There were no further attacks from the end of 1983, throughout 1984 and until 1985,” Bonnet added.
The French authorities reportedly allowed two of the suspects to visit fellow militants in French prisons after the 1982 attack.
Yohann Taïeb of a support group for victims’ families said Bonnet’s admission was “shameful” and called on Macron to “declassify documents and take decisions about eventual legal proceedings”.
Avi Bitton, a lawyer representing the families, told Le Parisien: “We need a parliamentary inquiry not just on the Rue des Rosiers attack but to establish if such secret pacts were sealed with other terrorist organisations.”
Rue des Rosiers. Picture credit: Wikimedia