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London Assembly Calls For Olympic Games To Pay Tribute To 1972 Munich Victims

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A German policeman peers below at the balcony the Black September group occupied | PA

There should be a minute's silence at London 2012 to remember victims of terror attacks at the 1972 Olympics, the London Assembly said today.

Members called for a fitting tribute to be held during either the opening or closing ceremonies at the Olympic Park.

The London 2012 Games will take place 40 years after the Black September terror group invaded the 1972 Munich Olympics and killed 11 Israelis.

In a unanimously-backed motion, Assembly member Andrew Dismore, said: "It is 40 years since this terrible attack took place and there has not once been a memorial service or event officially part of the scheduled events at Olympic Games.

"This is simply not good enough.

"The IOC (International Olympic Committee) say to have a minute's silence to commemorate these victims of terrorism would be a 'political gesture' but surely not having a minute's silence is, in itself, the political gesture. This is not about the nationality of the victims - they were Olympians.

"Today this Assembly sends a clear message that we want a minute's reflection during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we call on mayor Boris Johnson to press the IOC to respect the wish of the host city."

The eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the 1972 Olympic Village, killing two members of the Israeli team and taking nine hostage. In the ensuing battle, all nine Israeli hostages were killed along with a policeman and five of the terrorists.

Israel's deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon sent a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge in April asking for a minute's silence to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre. It was rejected.

The letter was sent on behalf of Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, widows of two of the murdered athletes, who have been urging the Olympic committee to hold a moment of silence at the Games for decades, officials said.

Assembly member Roger Evans, who seconded the motion, said: "The 2012 Games should include an opportunity to remember the victims of the attacks in Munich.

"The IOC needs to show some political courage and allow the commemoration of a tragedy that affected their guests during their event in their venue 40 years ago.

"This important decision should not be dictated by a small number of their members."

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