Sat, Jul 04, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Kaohsiung plans special security for Israeli athletes

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA , KAOHSIUNG

The 2009 World Games Kaohsiung Organizing Committee (KOC) said on Thursday that for security reasons, the committee would arrange for athletes from Israel to stay in a hotel instead of at the athletes’ village during the July 16 to July 26 competition.

KOC managing director Liu Shyh-fang said the decision was made in response to a request by the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei that steps be taken to avoid the possibility of a repeat of the tragedy in which Israeli athletes competing in the 1972 Munich Olympics were taken hostage and murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

In response, the World Games host city of Kaohsiung has arranged separate accommodation for Israeli athletes and has strengthened security levels to ensure the participants’ safety.

Eleven Israeli athletes have registered to take part in three events at the Games.

Also on Thursday, the Executive Yuan convened a meeting on concerns over security for the Israeli athletes.

“The KOC will double-check the hotel’s safety preparations for the Israeli athletes,” Liu said.

In related news, meanwhile, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan has agreed to Kaohsiung’s request for the central government to provide 600 military police to maintain security during the Games.

The eighth World Games are expected to bring together 4,500 athletes from 91 countries and areas.

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