Turks say Israeli delegations closed by terror threats

Israeli embassy in Ankara, consulate in Istanbul were two of four diplomatic missions closed over terror warnings.

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February 18, 2011 05:00
1 minute read.
Former Hizbullah leader Imad Mughniyeh

imad mughniyeh_311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Israel’s embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul were two of the four diplomatic missions closed this week due to terrorist threats, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on Thursday.

According to the paper, “the functions of the Israeli missions are temporarily suspended, while the diplomats are still working, not in the office, but from home.”

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The Foreign Ministry declined to relate to the reports.

Earlier this week, Foreign Ministry officials confirmed that four missions did not open on Monday because of concrete warnings of possible terrorist attacks timed to mark the third anniversary of Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh’s assassination.

In addition to Istanbul, the other embassies that restricted their operations this week were in Azerbaijan and Georgia, according to Iranian media.

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday saying a number of “irregular incidents” had been noticed recently around a number of Israeli diplomatic missions abroad.

“At this point we think there is a threat against those locations, and it is being dealt with,” the statement read.

Israel’s embassies have been targets in the past.

In 2008, a bomb plot was uncovered against the embassy in Baku. In 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hezbollah and Iran were behind that plot – which was also believed to have been aimed at avenging Mughniyeh’s assassination.

Mughniyeh was killed by a car bomb in Damascus on February 12, 2008, as he made his way to a celebration at the city’s Iranian cultural center.

In addition to serving as Hezbollah’s chief of military operations, he was also the group’s liaison with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Hezbollah and Iran have blamed the Mossad for his death.

Last week, the National Security Council’s counter-terrorism bureau issued a travel advisory warning that the threat of attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad had increased, and referencing eight countries: Egypt, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania and Venezuela.


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