Israelis Caught with Gun Equipment in Sydney
Security agents accompanying the Israeli Olympic team have had bulletproof vests and gun holsters confiscated by Australian customs officials, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
Australian customs service confirmed it had seized personal protective equipment found in the baggage during screening the team officials' luggage at the Olympic village arrival gateway, the Israeli paper added.
An Australian Customs Service official, who confiscated the equipment, was quoted by theage.com.au as saying the guards told police they brought in the equipment because they hoped a ban on weapons might be lifted.
Australian customs delivered a formal warning letter to the relevant team officials but no further action would be taken, a spokesman was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.
The security at Sydney Olympics and Australian federal officials had repeatedly warned that no guns would be allowed in for personal protection of athletes under any circumstances, the Emirati website added.
At Munich Olympiad in 1972, 11 Israeli athletes were killed in an attack by members of the Black September Palestinian faction.
The Customs Service spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that it would not comment further on the issue. Eleven Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Games. Reports in July suggested Australian authorities faced a diplomatic standoff after they rejected applications from the United States and Israel for exemptions to firearms laws for the protection of athletes and officials traveling to Sydney for the Olympics.
At the time, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said no country had applied for an exemption and that no foreign security agent would be permitted to import a weapon for any reason – (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)