The Israeli envoy to India Ron Malka has said that the blast near the country’s mission in New Delhi was a terror attack and there was “some evidence from the scene” to suggest that. Speaking to our Principal Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Malka said that it was “too early to say who is standing behind this evil attack… it is a terrorist attack, the target being the Israel embassy.”
The minor blast near the Israeli mission in the high-security zone of India’s national capital came even as the Beating Retreat ceremony was underway just 20 minutes away from the location.
The envoy pointed out, “this kind of events only strengthen us, give us more strength to go ahead, grow, progress” and “Israel, India ties will grow and thrive, and no one will be able to stop this.”
The incident happened as both countries celebrate 29 years of the formal establishment of diplomatic ties.
WION: If you can give us the details of the Friday blast that took place near your mission?
Ambassador Ron Malka: Yesterday around 5 PM, there was a blast, an explosion just outside the Israeli embassy in Delhi. Once it happened, we raised an alert, and fortunately, nobody was hurt, and all the diplomats and families of diplomats are safe. We have our guidelines in these kinds of situations, and we follow them. We are safe now.
WION: What kind of conversations are you having with your Indian counterparts? The details.
Ambassador Ron Malka: Yesterday when this evil attack happened, we celebrated the 29th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel. Very fruitful and rewarding 29 years of diplomatic relations, so it might not be a coincidence.
The collaboration between India and Israel is a shining example for the world, how 2 countries should collaborate and cooperate.
Yesterday, EAM Jaishankar called our minister of foreign affairs. The foreign secretary called our DG, your NSA called our NSA, they know each other very well.
On a continuous basis we share, we collaborate, we joint effort in many aspects, and in this investigation, Israeli and Indian authorities’ agencies are working together. Putting all the parts together, pieces together, and building the puzzle to understand what happened here as we get full support and assistance.
WION: Do you think Iran has been responsible for the incident near the Israeli embassy?
Ambassador Ron Malka: Investigation still in its early stages. Too early to say who is standing behind this evil attack. Our assumption, yes, it is a terrorist attack, the target being the Israel embassy. It will take some more time to bring all the pieces together and who is standing behind this attack. All the options on the table and will take some time. Will find those responsible for the attack and will bring them to justice.
WION: You said, it’s a terror attack. What is the evidence which makes you believe that it’s a terror attack?
Ambassador Ron Malka: There is some evidence from the scene. We know what kind of bomb is used in this kind of event and other pieces. I don’t want to get into the details of the investigation. Its still ongoing, but can share with you, Israeli diplomats all over the world, we are considered as a target in the eyes of our enemies. We are very well prepared.
There was an attack in 1992 at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, there was a terror attack against Israeli diplomats in 2012. So we are very well prepared. In the last few weeks, due to some incidents that happened all over the world, some of them are related to Israel, we raised the level of alert.
So we are not surprised, we are very well prepared and those who think they might stop us, or threaten us, this kind of events only strengthen us, give us more strength to go ahead, grow progress and Israel, India ties will grow and thrive and no one will be able to stop this.
WION: Since it’s anniversary year, how do you see ties between India and Israel?
Ambassador Ron Malka: Even under the Pandemic, we collaborated and whatever happened under the pandemic will shape what will happen in the future.
Israel and India are shining examples of how countries, friend countries should collaborate and work together. After the pandemic, we did join research on a rapid test for covid, a scientist from India and Israel joined forces and conducted a very high research effort.
We supported and helped each other in exchange of shared practices, medicines, and all over achievements, medical supplies, and medical equipment for tackling the pandemic.
This kind of collaboration is based on mutual respect and trust is a shining example of countries that should collaborate and even under the pandemic, we signed new agreements on water projects, innovation, health care, culture. Even under the pandemic, new centers of excellence for agriculture were established. That is what is going on between India and Israel. Ties are growing and expanding.
WION: How has been the counter-terror collaboration between the 2 countries?
Ambassador Ron Malka: As I always say, Israel and India, not only share the same values and interests, we also have similar hostilities and threats. As far as counter-terrorism is concerned, we collaborate, share information and knowledge, and practices. This is a shining example for our countries, to get united, collaborate, and work together. If the world will get united against terror, we are going to win against terrorism. Because terrorism is a global disease, the world should internalize that and get united and once this happens, we will defeat terror.
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