Shlomo Argov, 73; Envoy Paralyzed in Assassination Plot

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Shlomo Argov, 73, a former Israeli ambassador to Britain paralyzed during an assassination attempt in 1982, died Sunday at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. He had required constant medical care since he was shot in the head nearly 21 years ago, and had deteriorated in the last few months.

Argov was shot outside London's Dorchester Hotel after a diplomatic meeting. Three members of the Abu Nidal guerrilla faction, which has ties to Libya, Syria and Iraq, were convicted in the shooting.

Born in Jerusalem, Argov studied in Washington, D.C., and London, and joined Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1959. He served as ambassador to Mexico and the Netherlands before assuming his position as ambassador to Britain in 1979.

The Jerusalem Post described Argov as "brilliant and suave," and ranked him alongside Abba Eban, Israel's first ambassador to the United Nations, who died last November.

Colleagues said Argov was at his physical and intellectual prime at the time of the shooting, and remained lucid afterward for two or three years, but was emotionally devastated by his complete paralysis.

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