Israeli embassy officials targeted by terrorists in India, Georgia
Israeli embassy staffs in India as well as Georgia were under attack by bombers on Monday, resulting in severe injuries to four individuals. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu has blamed Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah for these attacks. Iranian-backed Hezbollah have blamed Israel for the death of military mastermind of Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas, Imad Moughniyeh in a Damascus car-bombing, and vowed revenge.
“Iran, which stands behind these attacks, is the largest exporter of terror in the world,” Netanyahu told lawmakers from his party. Israel’s foreign ministry has mentioned that “though the car bombing attempt in Tbilisi was averted due to timely discovery before it went off, in New Delhi the bomb ripped through the Israeli diplomat’s car injuring four people including one of the diplomat’s wife and the car driver.”
The explosion took place late afternoon close to the embassy, close to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said in New Delhi. He added that the wife of an Israeli diplomat and the driver “are in the hospital and being tended to.”
Television footage showed a charred minivan with blue diplomatic plates, with its rear door apparently blown out. India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, who had visited Israel last month, spoke to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on phone and assured that New Delhi would make all efforts to nab those responsible and bring them to justice. Liberman thanked his Indian counterpart and said this was not the first time terrorists have targeted Israeli diplomatic missions abroad.
Liberman added, “No Israel diplomat anywhere in the world will be deterred by terrorism.” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor declined to give details of the car bomb attack, stating, “We are looking into the incident and cooperation with local security forces is excellent.”
Israel had put its foreign missions on especially high alert ahead of the February 12 anniversary of the assassination, in 2008 of Moughniyeh. Over last several weeks Israelis has also been issuing warnings of a possible reprisal by Iran for suspected Jerusalem involvement in the assassination of several scientists involved in Tehran’s nuclear programme alleged to be for making weapons of mass destruction.
The United Kingdom has condemned the attacks and called on New Dehli and Tbilisi to fully investigate the incidents. “I was shocked and appalled to hear of the attack today on an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in New Delhi and the failed attack on another vehicle in Tbilisi,” UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said in an official statement.