Israel vows to 'capture and punish' bombers: Fears of a new cycle of violence mount as Israeli embassies go on to 'highest alert' and Tehran predicts more explosions across Europe

WARNINGS were issued yesterday of a new cycle of violence and retaliation, as Israel said it would hunt down those who bombed Jewish and Israeli targets in Buenos Aires and London, and Iran said more explosions could be expected across Europe.

Germany, Britain and the United States have announced stringent measures to protect Jewish and Israeli premises. Israeli embassies and consulates throughout the world are on 'highest alert' for fresh attacks.

In Jerusalem, the Israeli cabinet issued a statement which read: 'The government condemns the bloodshed against innocent civilians, and declares it will act . . . to capture the criminals and punish them.'

Israel has accused Iran of sponsoring Islamic groups including the Lebanese Hizbollah and the Palestinian groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which it says were behind the bombings.

Israel's statement is the bluntest warning yet that it will hunt down the bombers. History shows it has the means to carry this out. From the early days of the state, Israel has shown no mercy to those who have taken up arms against it. In the shadow war between Palestinian extremists and Israeli agents in the early Seventies, many Palestinians were killed in the streets of Europe.

In one of the most daring operations, in April 1973, a commando team guided by Mossad agents landed in Beirut and killed three top PLO agents. Fifteen years later, a similar operation killed the PLO's military commander, Abu Jihad, in Tunis.

Israeli options now include launching another blistering attack by air, land and sea on Shia extremist bases in Lebanon, sending in hit-squads to Beirut to target Hizbollah leaders, or even killing Iranian diplomats or others who are suspected of providing logistical support in Europe and worldwide.

Many European governments, however sympathetic they might be to Israel at this time, are unwilling to see their capitals turned into arenas for the bloody settling of Middle Eastern scores. The Israelis have overstepped the mark before. In 1973 they killed a Moroccan waiter in the Norwegian resort of Lillehammer in mistake for Ali Hassan Salameh, perpetrator of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacres.

In 1987, British police investigating the murder of Naji Ali, a prominent Palestinian cartoonist, arrested another Palestinian in Hull, Ismail Sowan. In his possession they found an arms cache which included four assault rifles, hand grenades, 145kg of Semtex explosives, timers and detonators. Sowan, it emerged, had been working for Mossad.

The Thatcher government was livid, because the Israelis had been conducting intelligence operations in Britain without informing the British authorities.

For more than a year co-operation between the British and Israeli intelligence agencies was suspended.

For their part, the Iranians have stepped up security to protect Iranian institutions and personalities inside and outside the country. There are reports that key figures in the regime are expecting an Israeli attack at any time.

Iran has accused Israel of being behind the bombings as a pretext to discredit revolutionary Islamic movements. Iran's state-run radio said yesterday the wave of bombings against Jewish and Israeli targets was likely to spread to other European capitals.

'They will probably extend them to other European capitals so that they can get maximum benefit from these explosions against Islam, the Islamic movements and the Islamic Republic of Iran,' the radio added.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor