Israeli President Isaac Herzog left for Germany on Sunday to attend a memorial ceremony for the 1972 Munich Olympics bombing that killed 11 Israeli athletes.
In a statement, Isaac Herzog said: “This morning I am leaving for a state visit to Germany at the invitation of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The main part of the visit will be devoted to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the terrible massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.”
The visit follows a last-minute compensation deal reached last week between Germany and the families of the Israeli victims, in which Berlin offered the families of the victims $28 million, in addition to the $4.5 million previously awarded.
The Israeli Olympic Committee has confirmed that it will send a delegation to Munich to commemorate the anniversary of the September 5 massacre.
Steinmeier’s office did not say whether the president would issue a formal apology during a ceremony at Fürstenfeldbrück airbase, west of Munich, where the hostage-taking operation ended.
During his three-day visit to Germany, the Duke is also due to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz and address parliament in Berlin.
The Olympic Games were held in the German city of Munich in 1972, almost 3 decades after the Holocaust (the massacre of Jews in Nazi Germany), and were intended to draw attention to the new Germany, but instead led to a deep split with Israel.
On September 5, 1972, 8 gunmen from the Palestinian Black September group broke into the Israeli team’s apartment in the Olympic Village, shot two people and took 9 more hostage.
West German police responded with an unsuccessful rescue operation in which nine hostages were killed in a shootout with the kidnappers, as well as 5 of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.