Israeli embassies around world reportedly put on high alert after India blast

Some missions said closed, including New Delhi embassy where investigators focus on suspects spotted in area before mysterious explosion

Delhi Police officers and paramilitary soldiers stand guard near the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India, December 27, 2023 (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Delhi Police officers and paramilitary soldiers stand guard near the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India, December 27, 2023 (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Israeli embassies around the world were reportedly put on high alert Wednesday, with some of them staying closed entirely, following a blast that rattled the embassy in India a day earlier.

An explosion occurred near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on Tuesday, causing no injuries and Indian news networks said that a letter addressed to the Israeli ambassador, Naor Gilon, had been found close to the scene of the explosion.

On Wednesday, Israel’s Ynet news site reported, without citing sources, that a top security alert had been declared following the explosion in all of the country’s embassies globally, and that some — including the one in New Delhi — were temporarily not operating.

The Foreign Ministry responded to the report by merely saying it “doesn’t publicly comment on the matter of the security of its missions around the world.”

Israelis around the globe have been cautioned to be on alert since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, which has fueled intensified anti-Israel sentiment in parts of the world.

Earlier this month, the National Security Council reiterated its recommendation that Israelis reconsider all travel abroad and called on those who do need to travel overseas to avoid outward displays of their Jewish and Israeli identities amid rising antisemitism around the world as Israel fights the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

Israel embassy personnel together with Indian conduct a search operation after an explosion occurred near the embassy in New Delhi on December 26, 2023. (Arun Sankar/AFP)

Hours after the Indian embassy blast on Tuesday, Israel’s National Security Council issued an advisory urging Israelis in India, particularly New Delhi, to exercise increased caution, adding that the explosion had likely been a terror attack.

The advisory called for avoiding crowded areas such as malls and markets, as well as sites associated with Jews and Israelis; being extra vigilant in public places; refraining from displaying Israeli symbols; avoiding crowded events that aren’t secured; and not sharing photos on social media that could reveal Israelis’ locations.

Indian media reported Wednesday morning that two suspects had been spotted in the area on security footage during the investigation into the blast.

According to the reports, cited by Ynet, investigators have been analyzing the footage to try and locate them, stressing that whether they had a link to the blast wasn’t yet clear.

Israeli security officials are working with local Indian authorities on the investigation, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Reports say the typed and “abusive” letter addressed to Gilon had been signed by “Sir Allah Resistance,” mentioned Israel’s military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and included the word “revenge.” The reports said investigators were working to establish if there was a connection between the letter and the explosion.

In 2021, a blast outside Israel’s embassy in New Delhi damaged cars but caused no injuries, in an attack India has said was carried out by the Quds Force branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

File: Police cordon off an area on a street after an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on January 29, 2021. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP)

In February 2012, the wife of the Israeli military attaché was injured in a car bomb attack in New Delhi.

Indian police concluded that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was behind the bombing, one of a series of attempted attacks against Israeli diplomats and other targets around the world attributed to Iran during that period.

Tuesday’s explosion came a day after a senior officer in the IRGC was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Iranian media reported that Brig. Gen. Razi Mousavi was killed in a strike in the Damascus suburb of Sayeda Zeinab, with top regime officials vowing revenge against Israel.

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