Greece Condemns Drive-by on Israeli Embassy

Greek government slams 'assault on democracy' after shots fired at Israel embassy, vows it will not affect relations with Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Police outside Israeli Embassy in Athens (archive)
Police outside Israeli Embassy in Athens (archive)
Reuters

The Greek government condemned on Friday as a "terrorist assault on democracy" a night-time gun attack on the Israeli embassy in Athens that saw the building sprayed with gunfire, but fortunately wounded no one.

A gunman riding on the back of motorcycle raked the embassy with at least 54 rounds from a Kalashnikov rifle, police said, as it passed the embassy, which sits on the corner of a busy road in the chic northern suburbs of the Greek capital.

Another two people on a second motorcycle were suspected of also taking part in the attack, which happened at 3:20 a.m. local time.

Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias, who visited the scene, told the Ana news agency, "No one is going to affect the relations between Greece and Israel."

Relations between the two have warmed considerably recently as tensions have risen between Israel and Turkey, which under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been growing ever more radically Islamic, and has been a key backer of Hamas.

"Every terrorist attack is an assault on democracy and the country," said government spokeswoman Sophia Voultepsi, who added that Athens was taking "determined steps" against terror groups.

Anti-terrorist police said first indications pointed to the far-left People's Fighter group as being responsible. They have been blamed for three attacks, including one on the German embassy and another on the offices of the ruling conservative New Democracy party.

The incident comes two days after convicted terrorist turned Palestinian Authority (PA) official Ziad Abu Ein died of a heart attack while clashing with IDF soldiers in Samaria. There have been many Greek protests against Israel in recent months.

Embassies and diplomatic vehicles in Greece have been targeted in attacks by far-left groups in recent years.

The residence of the German ambassador in Athens has been hit twice - with two assault rifles in 2013 and a rocket attack in 1999. No one was hurt. In 2007, another rocket was fired at the US embassy in Athens without injuring anyone.

All three attacks were claimed by far-left groups, two of which have since been dismantled by the police. But the People's Fighter group remains active and its members at large.

AFP contributed to this report.




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