On This Date in Latin America – March 17, 1992: The Bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina

Twenty years ago today, a car bomb exploded in front of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 29 nine people, injuring 242 more, and becoming the deadliest attack on an Israeli mission ever.

At nearly 3PM, a suicide bomber drove a pickup truck loaded with explosives into the front of the embassy. The explosion destroyed not only the embassy, but also a Catholic church and a school, both near the embassy. The attack killed only four Israelis, with Argentine civilians, including many children, making up the remaining dead.

In the wake of the attack, the Islamic Jihad Organization claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming Israel’s assassination of a Hezbollah official in February 1992 as the motive for the suicide bombing.  Intelligence surveillance from US security agencies also suggested Iran was aware of the attack in advance, and in 1998, Argentina expelled seven Iranian diplomats over evidence of Iranian involvement in the bombing. However, no charges were ever filed, although the late former President Nestor Kirchner declared that the Argentine government’s failure in the 1990s to investigate the bombing was a “disgrace,” and reopened the case. With twenty-nine civilian victims, the bombing was also the worst in Argentina’s history up to that date, although the 1994 bombing of the AMIA building that claimed 85 lives would later become the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history.

The memorial to the victims of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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2 Responses to On This Date in Latin America – March 17, 1992: The Bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Colin,
    As the widow of one of the victims of the Embassy attack I am genuinely touched by the fact that you put together this post. Your text is accurate. However, I wish to point out that your first photograph is of the AMIA blast site and NOT of the embassy blast site. Thank you for considering to correct the identification error.

    • Thanks for your very kind comment, and I do apologize – I’m not quite sure how I missed that the first time. Cheerfully corrected, and thanks for reading!

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