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Suspecting 'possible terror attack', Israel issues travel warning for India

Updated on: 27 December,2023 07:47 AM IST  |  Jerusalem

No one was injured in the blast that occurred near the Israel embassy in the Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

Suspecting 'possible terror attack', Israel issues travel warning for India

Palestinians search for bodies and survivors in the rubble. Pic/AP

The Israeli National Security Council has issued a travel advisory for its citizens in India, suspecting that an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on Tuesday was "a possible terror attack". No one was injured in the blast that occurred near the Israel embassy in the Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

When contacted, Israeli embassy spokesperson Guy Nir said, "We can confirm that around 5:48 pm, there was a blast near the embassy. Delhi Police and the security team are still investigating the situation." The recommendations of the Israeli National Security Council (NSC) on Tuesday, which come amid concerns of a "recurrence of events", apply especially to New Delhi.

Israeli nationals have been warned to try to avoid going to crowded places (malls and markets) and places identified as serving Westerners/Jews and Israelis. They have also been urged to be on heightened alert in public places (including restaurants, hotels, pubs, etc). The recommendations also suggest avoiding openly displaying Israeli symbols, refraining from attending unsecured large-scale events, and avoiding publicising itineraries on social media as well as photographs and details of visits in real time.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, in a press statement earlier on Tuesday, said that there were no casualties in the explosion. "The incident is under investigation by the local authorities in full cooperation with the Israeli security forces", the ministry said. Soon after the explosion, which took place in a green belt area outside the Central Hindi Training Institute located near the embassy, teams of Delhi Police's Special Cell, bomb disposal squad and fire department rushed to the spot. An almost three-hour-long search operation was carried out in the area.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team also examined the site, a senior police officer in New Delhi said. After the incident, security was further beefed up around the embassy and other Israeli establishments, according to officials. Earlier this month, the NSC warned Israelis to reconsider all their 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 amidst the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas militant group in Gaza.

In the past, too, the Israeli embassy and its staff have come under attack in New Delhi. There was an explosion outside the Israeli embassy in 2021 in which cars were damaged, but no casualties were reported. In February 2012, the wife of an Israeli security staff at the embassy was injured in an attack on her car in New Delhi. Security has been high around the Israel embassy in New Delhi since the war between Israel and Hamas began earlier this year, security officials said.

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