Israel Embassy in New Delhi: “We were prepared” stated Israeli Ambassador to India

The Israeli Embassy in New Delhi went under attack on 29th January 2021. The blast was due to an ‘improvised explosive device’ (IED) placed inside a flower pot on the road divider. It was packed into a Thums Up can. The incident has sent out waves of tension and uneasiness across the capital given the tight security that the area is given. However, there seems to have some strategic symbolism that can be drawn from the blast. The incident did not take place on any normal day, 29th January marked the day of celebration India-Israeli diplomatic relation and the Beating Retreat Ceremony was taking place just a few kilometres from the Embassy. The Beating Retreat Ceremony was attended by the President, Prime Minister, and the three Chiefs of the military services of India, and a blast in and around that area questions the level of security and Intelligence.

The events took an unanticipated turn as soon as the investigation was probed. A letter from the area was discovered and it was written to the Ambassador of Israel to India. The letter was written by an unidentified group named ‘Jaish-ul-Hind’ and the whereabouts of this group is being looked into now. The letter also stated that the IED was just a ‘trailer’ of what is about to happen and that this has some relation to the attacks on ‘Iranian martyrs.’ The attack is a symbol of justice and liberation for Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The former was assassinated by a US drone attack and the latter was killed in November last year, the blame for which Iran had put on Israel. 

Following the attack on Israeli Embassy, EAM Jaishankar had promised his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, that the investigation will be conducted seriously and that the matter will be given topmost priority.

But the astonishing turn to the event irrupted when the Israeli Embassy stated it was on high alert since January 23rd, 2021. The Embassy was somehow prepared but it had not anticipated the blast this early. Israeli Ambassador to India, Ron Malka mentioned, “We are always prepared. Especially these last days, we raised the level of alert due to some threats.” He further added, “Those non-state actors that are striving for destabilisation in the region and the world don’t like what is happening between Israel and India, that are striving for stability and peace. It might be a threat to them.” 

The attack had received mix reactions. The Indian media primarily dealt with as an effort to create sensation between the two countries. Israel’s Channel 13 stated it to be a “primitive” attack and not associate this with some mastermind by a terror cell. The bigger agenda still lies in uncovering the truth behind the attack and whether Iranian sources are directly involved in this. CCTV footages are being examined now and the forensic team has recovered ball bearings from the sight of attack. Israeli special agency Mossad has probed the investigation. Though there are not any conclusive remarks all fingers are pointed towards Iran. A top official from the counter-terrorism squad in New Delhi mentioned, “Deliberate efforts have been made to firewall the real perpetrators behind the terror incident with false flags and deniability built into the attack that was carried out at the behest of Iran.” No official statement from the Iranian government has been made so far despite the continuous allegations and accusations directed towards the country.

The latest update on this attack has been recorded on Monday as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged their thoughts on this attack and other agendas over a telephone call. The official account of the PM of Israel tweeted about the Indian government’s swift action in handling the aftermath of the ‘terror’ situation.

PM Modi has assured that all resources be deployed to find the ‘culprits.’ An official statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs read, “Prime Minister conveyed his strong condemnation of the terror attack near the Israeli Embassy. He assured Prime Minister Netanyahu that India accords the highest importance to the safety and security of Israeli diplomats and premises, and would deploy all its resources to find and punish the perpetrators. Both leaders expressed satisfaction about the close coordination between Indian and Israeli security agencies in this context.”

There have been earlier attacks on the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, the 2012 attack being the most dreadful. However, all eyes are now on the investigation and to find the whereabouts of ‘Jaish-Ul-Hind’ who has claimed the responsibility of the IED attack. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Arijita Sinha Roy

Arijita Sinha Roy is an Associate Editor (Trainee) at The Kootneeti.

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