Greek Police: Left Group Behind Attack on Embassy

Greek police says rifles used in attack on the Israeli embassy were used in similar attack on the residence of the German ambassador.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

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

Greek police on Friday said a far-left group was likely responsible for a night-time gun attack on the Israeli embassy in Athens that saw the building sprayed with gunfire but no one hurt.

Two Kalashnikov assault rifles used in the attack had been used in a similar attack on the residence of the German ambassador last December by the People's Fighter Group, a police source said, according to AFP.

A gunman riding on the back of a 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 affluent northern suburbs of the Greek capital.

Television footage showed bullet holes on the side of the embassy building.

"There were two bursts of gunfire...they must have emptied an entire clip," the attendant of a neighboring petrol station told reporters.

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, condemned the attack and told the Ana news agency earlier Friday, "No one is going to affect the relations between Greece and Israel."

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

The People's Fighter Group had also fired on the offices of the ruling conservative New Democracy party in January 2013.

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 U.S. 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.

Friday morning’s incident came 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.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)