India police inspect car after embassy attack_390.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Israel raised the level of alert at all of its embassies and consulates overseas
following a coordinated attack against embassy personnel on Monday in Georgia
The attacks came the day after the fourth anniversary of the
assassination of Hezbollah’s military commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed
by a car bomb in Damascus in 2008. Hezbollah has tried a number of times in
recent years to strike back at Israel, which it holds responsible for
The defense establishment is concerned the attacks on
Monday were just the beginning and Hezbollah is plotting additional attacks that
could be launched in the coming days.
In the first attack, the wife of a
Defense Ministry official stationed at the embassy in India was wounded when a
bomb exploded in her car as she drove near the prime minister’s residence in New
Delhi. The woman, identified as Tal Yehoshua-Koren, sustained moderate shrapnel
wounds and underwent surgery on Monday evening.
Yehoshua-Koren, who also
works at the embassy, left in the afternoon with a driver to pick up her
children from school. The blast occurred shortly after they left the embassy –
before she picked up the children – and eyewitnesses said a motorcyclist drove
to the car and attached a magnetic device to the back of the vehicle.
bombing was very similar to the method used in a slew of assassinations of Iranian scientists in recent years that the Islamic
regime has blamed on Israel.
Two Israeli doctors – coincidentally in New
Delhi at the time, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry – arrived at the
hospital and took charge of her medical care. Defense officials said they were
discussing the possibility of evacuating Yehoshua-Koren to Israel.
second attack, an embassy staffer in Tbilisi discovered a bomb underneath his
car as he was driving to the embassy on Monday morning. The staffer – a local
Georgian – heard something during the drive, pulled over to the side of the
road, noticed the bomb and called local authorities. The bomb was defused before
“We have expected this for some time and knew that Iran and
Hezbollah were plotting an attack,” a senior official said.
In both India
and Georgia, local security agencies were beefing up security around Israeli
missions in coordination with Israel.
The level of alert was also raised
in additional countries where Israeli delegations are believed to be under
Diplomats worldwide were told to check in with their offices, and
Israeli citizens overseas were asked to raise their level of
Over the years, a number of attacks – against the Israeli
embassies in Azerbaijan and Bangkok, an Israeli airliner in Turkey and Israeli
tourists in the Sinai peninsula – have been thwarted.
In recent years,
Hezbollah is believed to have significantly upgraded its overseas infrastructure
with particular emphasis on Europe, South America and Southeast
Hezbollah has an overseas division based in Beirut but functions
similarly to a subunit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’s Al- Quds
Force, which is responsible for Tehran’s support of terrorist groups around the
The head of the Hezbollah unit, which numbers a few dozen
operatives, is believed to be Talal Hamia, a veteran member of the guerrilla
organization. He is assisted by his bodyguard, Ahmed Faid, and Hezbollah’s top
bomb expert, Ali Najan al- Din Hamia, who was allegedly involved in the 1992 and
1994 bombings in Buenos Aires that targeted the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA
Jewish Community Center.
Another member of the cell, Majd al-Zakur, is
referred to as “the forger” and is responsible for procuring and preparing fake
passports. One such effort involved the Swedish passport that appears to have
been used by the Hezbollah operative caught in Thailand last month, who was
allegedly planning to bomb the Israeli embassy.