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
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

General Cover Teachers - GRIMSBY

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are working with a number of ...

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND FOLKESTONE

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND DOVER

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week