Yosef Alon
Yosef Alon (July 25, 1929 – July 1, 1973) was an Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Air Force
Israeli Air Force
The Israeli Air Force is the air force of the State of Israel and the aerial arm of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28, 1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence...

 officer who was mysteriously shot and killed in the driveway of his home in Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, USA.

Early life

Alon was born Josef Palchak in Kibbutz Ein Harod
Ein Harod
Ein Harod was a kibbutz in Israel. It was located in northern Israel near Mount Gilboa. It is notable for being built near the battlefield of Ayn Jalut , a battle of huge macro-historical importance where the Mongols were defeated for the first time, in 1260.-History:The kibbutz was founded by...

. When he was 2 years old, his parents returned to their native Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

. In 1939, they sent Alon to England. Most of his family perished in the Holocaust. After the war Alon returned to Czechoslovakia and in 1947 volunteered for the first pilots course of what was to become Israel Air Force, which took place there.
He then immigrated to Israel, changed his name, and was among the founders of the IAF.

IAF career

Alon fought in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War as a fighter pilot and early member of the nascent Israeli Air Force, and would go on to complete 75 missions. When Israeli formed its first Mirage
Mirage (aircraft)
Mirage is the name of a series of delta-winged fighters and bombers that have been produced by the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, flown by the French Air Force, and widely exported to foreign counties.* Dassault Mirage III...

 fighter jet squadron, Alon was assigned its commander. In 1970, then a colonel, Alon was chosen to be the assistant air and naval attache at Israel's Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 embassy. Installed in what should have been a three year assignment, Alon advocated strongly on Israeli arms procurement, especially regarding the F-4 Phantom.


On the night of June 30, 1973, Yosef Alon and his wife Dvora went to a dinner party organized for a departing embassy staffer. After two and a half hours of socializing and drinking, at roughly 12:30 am on July 1, the couple entered their Ford Galaxie
Ford Galaxie
The Ford Galaxie was a full-size car built in the United States by the Ford Motor Company for model years 1959 through 1974. The name was used for the top models in Ford’s full-size range from 1959 until 1961, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race...

 and drove home to Chevy Chase, Maryland
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Chevy Chase is the name of both a town and an unincorporated census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland. In addition, a number of villages in the same area of Montgomery County include "Chevy Chase" in their names...

, arriving about a half-hour later. Dvora exited the vehicle and walked a few dozen feet to their porch while Alon gathered up his sports jacket on the back seat. At this moment Alon was shot five times by a foreign-made .38-caliber revolver, one shot fatally hitting his heart. Dvora rushed inside and called the police, seeing only a light-colored car drive away, and then returned to the front yard and attempted with her 18-year-old daughter Dalia to stem Alon's bleeding with towels. At 1:27 am, Alon died at the hospital.

Radio broadcast

Later on July 1, the Cairo-based Voice of Palestine
Voice of Palestine
The Voice of Palestine is a radio station based in Ramallah. It is a subsidiary of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The station was originally known as the Voice of Palestinian Revolution before the 1993 Oslo Accords, and was launched on 17...

 broadcast that "After the assassination of martyr Mohammed Boudia at the hands of the Zionist intelligence elements in Paris, Colonel Yosef Alon...was executed...His is the first execution operation carried out against a Zionist official in the U.S."


The FBI investigation, "Murder of Assistant Air Attache Col. Joseph Alon" (MURDA), quickly focused on a possible link with Arab terrorism, including following leads given by the Shin Bet, but was ultimately closed in March 1976 without discovering the perpetrators, according to The Associated Press.
Sometime later CIA was reported to have been told by "Fedayeen senior official" that on the orders of Black September
Black September (group)
The Black September Organization was a Palestinian paramilitary group, founded in 1970. It was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, and fatal shooting of a West German policeman, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, their most publicized event...

, two students, using Lebanese or Cypriot passports, had passed through the Canadian border and come to Washington, where with the help of a local professor, had rented a car and got the weapons for the assassination. Afterwards, the students were reported to have abandoned the rental for another, which they used to get to Dulles International Airport; from there they flew on to the West Coast, East Asia, and finally the Middle East. This information was passed to the FBI in February 1977, but they could make no new progress, and the investigation was closed. The following year, the collected evidence for the case was destroyed by the Baltimore office of the FBI.

Dvora Alon died in 1995 without knowing the identity of her husband's killer.

In his book Chasing Shadows (Palgrave Macmillan), Fred Burton
Fred Burton
Fred Burton is Stratfor's vice president for intelligence, and is considered "one of the world's foremost experts on security, terrorists and terrorist organizations."Burton was a special agent with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service....

, former deputy chief of the counterterrorism division of the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Security Service, concludes after a lengthy investigation that Alon's killer was an agent from the Black September Terrorist Organization. In the final pages of Burton's book, he writes that according to sources in the Mossad, the killer was "brought to justice." The implication is that the Mossad killed Alon's murderer in February 2011.

Further reading

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