Why is Israel so nervous about the
Ben Gurion Airport
On May 30, 1972, Kōzō Okamoto along with Yasuyuki Yasuda, and Tsuyoshi Okudaira, arrived at Israel's Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, via Air France Flight 132 from Rome. After disembarking from the plane the three members of the JRA proceeded to the baggage claim area. Upon retrieving their luggage, they took out automatic weapons packed inside the suitcases and proceeded to open fire on other passengers in the baggage claim area.
The attack was a joint operation of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Japanese Red Army. The idea behind the joint effort was for the Japanese to carry out attacks for the Palestinians, and vice versa, in order to reduce suspicion. The plan worked, as Okamoto and his comrades attracted little attention prior to their attack.
They killed 26 people and injured 71 others. Yasuyuki Yasuda was killed in the attack when he ran out of ammunition. Tsuyoshi Okudaira committed suicide by placing a grenade against his body. Kōzō Okamoto was wounded and captured trying to escape the terminal. The attack became known as the Lod Airport Massacre. The victims were mostly Puerto Rican Christians on a pilgrimage to Israel. One of the Israeli victims was scientist Aharon Katzir, whose younger brother Ephraim became the fourth President of Israel in 1973.
Aharon Katzir's son, is my neighbor.