February 13, 2012
"Attack and Attempts"
The attack took place in New Delhi, the capital of India, today, while there was a second attempt in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. In both instances explosives were utilized in cars connected to the local Israeli embassies.
In New Delhi, Tali Yehoshua-Koren, wife of the Defense Ministry representative to India was on her way to pick up her children from school when a blast occurred in her car, causing moderate injuries from shrapnel in her legs.
She was brought to the hospital for surgery, and two Israeli doctors who just happened to be in the areas were able to assume responsibility for her care.
It is believed that an assassin on a motorbike attached the bomb to the car; it is unclear whether he was attempting to kill Tali Koren or believed her husband was in the car.
A local Indian resident, as well as the driver of the car, may also have been injured. The car caught fire in the street, not far from the Indian prime minister's residence, and ultimately was gutted.
In Tbilisi, a local employee of the Israeli embassy had dropped his children off at school when he heard a strange ticking in the car. He got out of the car and located an explosive device; Georgia police sappers dismantled it and there were no injuries.
We must be thankful that it was not a great deal worse. In each instance, a parent was involved in either dropping off or picking up children, and yet no children were injured.
In a press conference following these incidents, Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that there have been similar attempts in recent months, including in Azerbaijan and Thailand:
"In each instance we succeeded in foiling the attacks in cooperation with local authorities....
Iran and its proxy Hezbollah were behind all of these attempted attacks. Iran is the world's largest terror exporter."
As is the case each year, Israeli embassies have been placed on alert, in any event, because Hezbollah is about to mark the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, one of its senior terrorist operatives. There is always concern about retaliation at this time of year. What gives pause is the fact that these two incidents seem to have been coordinated.
Our prime minister indicated that actions would be taken to prevent future attacks. Foreign Minister Lieberman will be holding a meeting with senior officials this evening to assess the current situation and provide new security directives, as needed, to Israel's diplomatic missions around the world.
India has pledged ample security for the Israeli embassy and has promised to try to find those responsible and bring them to justice. India and Israel have exceedingly cordial relations, evidenced by a call placed to Lieberman by Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna. Krishna, who visited Israel just last month, expressed "shock" and offered words that reinforced the friendship.
Krishna Source: Ekantipur
Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague released a written statement on these incidents indicating that he was "shocked and appalled."
You may have heard the rumors about CNN firing all the Jews on its staff in the Jerusalem bureau. Close, but not 100% accurate. See the story by Michael Widlanski: CNN Tilts East, Fires 4 Jewish Journalists in Jerusalem
If you will be in Jerusalem or environs on February 25 (a Shabbat), please note this significant meeting to be held Motzei (after) Shabbat -- at 8:30 -- at the Great Synagogue at 56 King George Street. Doors open at 7:30 and it is best to arrive early.
An emergency public forum to be held in English on the problems confronting Har HaZeitim (Mount of Olives) cemetery.
I've written before about what's happening at Har HaZeitim regarding the Arab desecration of graves, Arab violence directed at mourners, and illegal expansion of a mosque on the cemetery grounds just meters from the grave of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
This cemetery, the oldest and largest Jewish cemetery in the world, is a national treasure that is at risk. Israeli sovereignty must be unequivocally established here and the issues are serious.
For this reason, the International Committee for the Preservation of Har HaZeitim has called this meeting. Its goal is the restoration of the cemetery and its preservation.
Keynote speakers: Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Executive Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents Malcolm Hoenlein are keynote speakers, several members of the Knesset will be participating.
The good news today is that Mekorot, Israel's national water company, has told the Knesset Economics Committee that within a decade Israel will have a water surplus. Anyone familiar with Israel's water situation will recognize what astounding news this is.
We are having a good winter, with more rain than we've seen in several seasons. But the Mekorot report was based, not on this, but on projections regarding desalination plants. Israel has six desalination facilities, which produce 600 million cubic meters of water a year; a new desalination plant is being constructed in Ashdod that will supply 100 million cubic meters of water annually. It is to be completed in 2013; by then, it is estimated, 75% of households will be using desalinated water.
While Israel is currently lacking 2 billion cubic meters of water, once reliance on desalinated water becomes greater, the natural sources of water -- notably the Coastal Aquifer and Lake Kinneret, will be replenished.
Here you can see the Kinneret at a diminished water level:
Long-term plans are in the works for a second national water carrier (pipeline system) that would carry only brackish and desalinated water to agricultural sites.
Incredibly, it is anticipated that by 2014 Israel may become an exporter of water.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
Technorati Tag: Israel and India and Terrorism.