Samiksha Jaiswal

1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack

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Target  Italian Jews
Deaths  1
1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack
Location  the Great Synagogue of Rome in Rome, Italy
Date  9 October 1982 11:55 am
Attack type  Grenade and shooting attack
Weapons  hand grenades submachine guns

The 1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack, which was carried out by armed Palestinian militants at the entrance to the Great Synagogue of Rome, took place on 9 October 1982 at 11:55 a.m. A 2-year-old toddler, Stefano Gaj Taché, was killed in the attack, while 37 civilians were injured.

Contents

Attack

The attack took place at the Great Synagogue of Rome in the historic district of Rome on Saturday morning, at 11:55 a.m., at the conclusion of Sabbath services. As the families of the local Jewish community began leaving the synagogue with their children from the back entrance to the synagogue, five elegantly dressed armed Palestinian attackers walked calmly up to the back entrance of the synagogue and threw at least three hand grenades at the crowd, and afterwards sprayed the crowd with sub-machine gun fire. Eyewitnesses at the scene stated that the hand grenades bounced off the steps and exploded in the street.

A 2-year-old toddler, Stefano Gaj Taché, was killed in the attack after being hit by shrapnel. In addition, 37 civilians were injured, among them Stefano's brother, 4-year-old Gadiel Taché, who was shot in the head and chest.

Eyewitnesses at the scene stated that after the attack, the attackers left the scene in a red Volkswagen and a white Austin.

Perpetrators

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Nevertheless, one of the assailants was identified as Osama Abdel al-Zomar, an alleged member of the Abu Nidal terrorist organization. Al-Zomar was later on arrested in Greece, for illegal smuggling of explosives. Although al-Zomar was convicted by an Italian court for his part in the 1982 attack (while he was in Greek custody), nevertheless, the Greek authorities denied an Italian extradition request and instead deported him in 1989 to Libya, where Abu Nidal's home base was located, and where he is believed to be living.

Aftermath

A plate has been fixed at the entrance to the synagogue in commemoration of the 1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack.

On 3 February 2015, during the message to Italian Parliament following his taking of the oath as President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella remembered the attack with these words: "(Italy) has paid several times, in a not too distant past, the price of hate and intolerance. I want to remember only one name: Stefano Taché, who was killed in the cowardly terrorist attack on the synagogue in Rome in October 1982. He was only two years old. He was our baby, an Italian baby".

References

1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack Wikipedia


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