Wife of Israeli diplomat wounded in car blast in New Delhi

 

An Israeli Embassy car erupts in flames in a terrorist bombing in New Delhi on Monday. (yfrog.com)

JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—The wife of an Israeli diplomat was moderately wounded and three others were hurt in New Delhi on Monday, when terrorist assailants on a passing motorcycle stuck a bomb to the roof of her car. It exploded seconds later, wounding Tali Yoshua Koren, her driver, and two bystanders.

Koren’s husband is the Israeli Defense Ministry’s representative in India. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was reported to be in satisfactory condition, suffering mainly from shrapnel wounds to her legs. Komer had reportedly dropped off her children at school just moments before the explosion.

Two Israeli doctors traveling in New Delhi at the time of the blast have taken charge of her medical care. Defense Ministry officials said discussions were taking place about the possibility of flying Koren back to Israel for treatment.

At about the same time as the New Delhi attack, a Georgian worker employed by the Israeli Embassy in Tbilisi called the bomb squad after he noticed a strange object attached to the embassy car assigned to the Israeli envoy.

Both incidents came just one day after the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah’s deputy leader, Imad Mughniyah. Since the Islamist organization blames the killing on Israel, Israeli legations are placed on high alert around the anniversary of the 2008 assassination in 2008.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Iran of orchestrating both attacks. He warned that Israel will continue to “systematically and with patience, use a strong arm” against international terrorism emanating from Iran.

Netanyahu blamed Iran, and its proxy Hezbollah, for a string of attempted assaults on Israeli and Jewish targets abroad in recent months, including in Thailand and Azerbaijan.

“Iran, which is behind these attacks, is the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world,” Netanyahu said. “The Israeli government and its security forces will continue to work together with local security services against these terrorist actions.”

 In Tbilisi, Real TV reported that Ambassador Yirzhak Gerber’s driver, Roman Khachaturian, noticed a black object protruding from the bottom of the car and called the police. Bomb squad officers dismantled the object and found it to contain a hand grenade rigged to explode.

The Foreign Ministry has instructed all of its diplomats not to use their vehicles until they are checked by security officers. The Transportation Ministry has warned Israeli tourists in Europe to be vigilant.

Danny Shenar, head of security at the Transportation Ministry, told Haaretz that he has asked European security services “to tighten security around groups of Israelis in various resorts like ski resorts and hotels.” According to Shenar, “I asked to formally tighten security, because I am worried about a security-related incident.”

Shenar added: “I’ve asked security services in Europe to escort groups of Israelis and conduct searches with police dogs.”

The attacks are believed to have been coordinated. Iran and Hezbollah have tried several times in recent years to avenge Mughniyeh’s assassination. Attempts have included a plan to shoot down an Israeli airliner over Turkey with shoulder-to-air missiles and a plan to attack Israeli tourists in the Sinai.

Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned Hezbollah on Tuesday not to test Israel by perpetrating a terrorist attack against an Israeli target overseas. “We are witnessing efforts by Hezbollah and other hostile elements to perpetrate a brutal terror attack far from Israel,” Gantz said. “I recommend to everyone not to test our resolve.”