Embassy in Delhi was on high alert before blast: Israeli Envoy

New Delhi: Israeli ambassador to India on Saturday said that embassy in New Delhi was on high alert as it had received threats before attack.

On Friday, a small bomb exploded near Israeli embassy which damaged nearby cars but no injuries caused. Officials in Jerusalem told news agencies that the incident was being perceived as an act of terrorism.

Ambassador Ron Malka citing threats told AFP that he was not surprised. The road remained cordoned off on Saturday and forensic experts collected clues to determine who was responsible. So far Indian police described the incident as a mischievous attempt to create a sensation.

Malka told AFP in a telephonic conversation that the attack could have ended differently had there been other circumstances so they were fortunate. He added that they were prepared especially in recent days and they raised the level of alert due to some threats.

He, however, did not share any further details but said that they were not surprised. Indian media reported that the investigators found a letter in a nearby street addressed to the Israeli ambassador. The letter, according to media, described the bomb as a trailer. The Indian media reported that the letter made references to Iranian martyrs Qasem Soleimani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

In January 2020, Iran’s most powerful military commander Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike while one of the country’s top nuclear scientists Fakhrizadeh was killed in November — an assassination for which Iran blamed Israel.

On the question whether the latest incident of attack has links with Iran, the envoy Malka said that the non-state actors that were striving for destabilization in the region and don’t like what was happening between Israel and India. 

He added that both countries were striving for stability and peace and it might be a threat for them.

The device exploded at a time when both countries marked the 29th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. The envoy said that the timing of the attack was also made part of the investigation.

The Israeli foreign ministry said that the incident was “under investigation by the authorities in India, who are in contact with the relevant Israeli authorities”.

One Israeli official on the condition of anonymity told Reuters that although there were no casualties both countries were considering the incident was an act of terrorism.

Following the incident, India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar spoke to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi and said that New Delhi was taking this very seriously, adding that no efforts would be left to find the culprits. Israel and India are close to each other and the latter is one of the biggest buyers of former’s weapons and defence equipment.

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