Shlomo Argov

Shlomo Argov

Shlomo Argov was born in Jerusalem in 1929. He took an active interest in politics and joined Palmach, a secret Jewish military organization. In 1948 he was wounded at the battle for Safed.

The Jewish state of Israel was established on 14th May 1948 when the British mandate over Palestine came to an end. Argov went to study at Georgetown University in United States before taking a post-graduate course at the London School of Economics.

In 1959 Argov joined Israel's ministry of foreign affairs and eventually became deputy director general of public relations. After working in Ghana and Nigeria, he served as ambassador to Mexico (1971-74), the Netherlands (1977-79) and to Britain (1979-1982).

On 3rd June 1982, Argov attended a dinner held at the Dorchester Hotel in London. As Argov left the hotel he was attacked by three members of the Abu Nidal terrorist group. One of the bullets fired by the terrorists hit Argov in the head.

Although the Abu Nidal was not under the control of Yasir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israel's prime minister, Menachem Begin, ordered air strikes against the PLO ammunition depots and training bases in and around Beirut. The PLO retaliated with a 24-hour barrage on Israeli kibbutzim. This led to Israel carrying out a full-scale invasion of Lebanon.

Argov lost his sight as a result of the attack and never recovered movement in his hands and legs. Although he eventually lost consciousness Argov lived for another twenty one years. Shlomo Argov died in Jerusalem on 23rd February, 2003.