Israeli couple possible target of Jewish Museum shooting


The Israeli press has reported that the shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last Saturday was a targeted assassination of Emmanuel and Miriam Riva

Arrest made yesterday unrelated to case

The man who killed three people in a shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels at the weekend may have been operating on behalf of a foreign intelligence service, Israel’s top newspapers has claimed. However, the selection of the couple Emmanuel and Miriam Riva was a mistake, Haaretz reports.

Emmanuel Riva, the paper reports, worked for the Israeli government service responsible for the immigration of Jews to Israel from the former Soviet Union. That work may have brought him into contact with members of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad. Those contacts may have been misinterpreted to exaggerate his involvement with Mossad, the paper says. Miriam Riva, contrary to what was previously reported, worked in a purely administrative function for Mossad.

The paper said the Israeli government is working on the hypothesis that the shooting of the Rivas was a targeted assassination, based on the behaviour of the shooter. The man walked into the museum, killed three people and injured another, then walked calmly out again, disappearing into the streets of the Marollen district.

“He looked like a man who had come to settle some scores,” Haaretz quotes an official as saying.

The case has been turned over to the Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office and classified as a terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, there was confusion in the media yesterday about an arrest in the case. A man was arrested in connection with terrorism charges, but it was unrelated to the museum shooting.

The museum now looks as if it will be closed until next week. “The staff met today to discuss what should be done next and to see if we could provide psychological support,” a spokesperson said. “It was also decided that we will only open again once that support is in place and a number of conditions relating to the safety of personnel are met. Of course we also have to wait for the permission of the judicial authorities.”

Photo courtesy VRT