A day after minor IED blast near Israeli Embassy in Delhi, Ambassador Ron Malka on Saturday said that there might be a connection between Friday’s blast and the 2012 attack targeting the country’s diplomats in Delhi. An envelop addressed to the Israeli Embassy and containing a note was found at the site.
Speaking to ANI, Malka said that an investigation is underway and New Delhi has given its assurances and offered all support, protection or assistance.
“In 2012, there was a terror attack on Israeli diplomats in Delhi not far from the Embassy. It might be connected, there might be a pattern. We are investigating and this is one of the options,” he said.
A low-intensity explosion took place near the Israel Embassy on Friday. No injuries have been reported in the incident so far. Windscreens of several cars parked in the vicinity of the Embassy on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road were found damaged.
On February 13, 2012, an Israeli embassy car exploded when a magnetic bomb stuck to it went off in a high-security area in New Delhi, injuring a wife of an Israeli defence envoy to New Delhi. On the same day, a bomb was also planted under an Israeli diplomatic car in the Georgian capital Tbilisi but it failed to detonate.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then accused Iran of being behind both the incidents in 2012 – allegations denied by Tehran. Malka suspected that Friday’s blast outside the Israeli Embassy could be a “terror attack”.
“As of now, our strong assumption is that it is a terror attack that targeted the Israeli Embassy. Fortunately, nobody was hurt,” the envoy said.
The explosion took place not far from Vijay Chowk, where several VVIPS including Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were in attendance during the ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony. Asserting that Israel has “full trust” in the Indian authorities, Malka said that there is a full collaboration between Indian and Israeli authorities.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has assured the Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi of “fullest protection” to their diplomats.
“EAM (S Jaishnakar) called our Minister of Foreign Affairs (Gabi Ashkenazi) and Foreign Secretory Harsh Vardhan Shringla called our DG in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. NSA Ajit Doval called our NSA Meir Ben-Shabbat. There is full collaboration. They gave their assurances and offered all support, protection or assistance that we need,” he said.
Investigators have recovered an envelope with text written on it related to Israel Embassy officials from the blast site, according to sources.
“The envelope has a text related to an Israel embassy official. It is a case for investigating officers to see whether or not it has any link with the case. But, it has been recovered from the blast site,” a senior government official told ANI.
(With inputs from ANI)