Overseas attacks put Israel on high alert
Jerusalem - Police heightened their state of alert throughout Israel on
Tuesday following bomb attacks on diplomats in India and Georgia. Officials
were also trying to determine whether Israelis were the intended target of an
Iranian man carrying explosives who blew his own legs off in Bangkok.
Authorities in Thailand said the Iranian was responsible for three
explosions in Bangkok, which wounded four people, including the alleged
Israel Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said there were no
immediate signs that targets were Israeli or Jewish, "but we can't rule
out that possibility".
Israel blamed Iran for Monday's attacks in India and Georgia. Officials
predicted that those attacks, which targeted Israeli diplomats, were just the
first in a wave of assaults on Israeli targets by Iran and its Lebanese proxy,
"The Iranians and Hezbollah are determined to disrupt Israeli life and
to act against Israelis all over the world," Defence Minister Ehud Barak
said on Tuesday during a visit to Singapore.
"They want to strike at Israelis and we must act against this terror
front and continue to brace for other challenges we face."
Hezbollah this week marked the fourth anniversary of the assassination of
commander Imad Mughniyeh, who died in a mysterious explosion widely blamed on
Iran, meanwhile, has accused the Israelis of being behind a series of
assassinations of nuclear scientists and other sabotage of its nuclear programme.
Israel, like the West, believes Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
In Israel, police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said security was heightened
at public places, foreign embassies and offices, as well as Ben-Gurion
International Airport. He says patrols have been stepped up and police were
instructed to be especially vigilant.
In India, investigators were searching for what they called a well-trained
motorcycle assailant who stuck a magnet bomb on an Israeli diplomatic car in
New Delhi, wounding four people, including one critically.
Israel sent forensic scientists from its police force to New Delhi to
participate in the investigation, an Israeli government official said. The
embassy declined to provide details of the investigation.
"There is day-to-day co-operation between Israeli authorities and
Indian security authorities. Very close co-operation," Israeli Embassy
spokesperson David Goldfarb said.
Iran has denied responsibility for the attack in India, as well as a foiled
bombing of an Israeli diplomatic car in Georgia, which appeared to mirror the
recent "sticky bomb" killings of Iranian nuclear scientists that
Tehran has blamed on Israel.
The bombings have ratcheted already heightened tensions between Tehran and
the Jewish state over Iran's nuclear programme.
Israel doesn't believe Iran's claims that it aims to produce electricity,
not bombs, and its threats of a possible military strike have grown more
ominous in recent weeks.