Lieberman Blames Abbas for Athens Embassy Shooting

Greek police may not have a lead, but hours after the attack the Foreign Ministry says it’s the result of Palestinian incitement.


Greek police may not have a lead on who carried out the shooting at the Israeli embassy in Athens early Friday, but hours after the attack the Foreign Ministry is already blaming the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.

"The attack on the Israeli embassy in Athens is another link in a chain of violent actions that has resulted from anti-Israeli incitement disseminated around the world by leaders of the Palestinian Authority and pro-Palestinian organizations," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon, in a statement issued under direction from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"The international community must condemn this ongoing incitement, which yields such results," Nachshon continued. "Israel thanks Greek authorities for the close collaboration in investigating the incident, and we hope the perpetrators will be apprehended and punished."

Unidentified assailants opened fire on the Israeli embassy in Athens with an AK-47 assault rifle in the early hours of Friday, Greek police said, but no injuries or damage were reported.

Four people on two motorcycles fired shots at the embassy building in a northern suburb of Athens, a police official said.

Officials in Athens condemned the shooting, stressing it would not affect the country's close ties with Israel.

"The Greek government is fully determined to ensure the protection of all diplomatic missions in Greece," a Foreign Ministry statement said. "Of course, particularly strong security and protection measures are in force at the Israeli embassy."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and received an update on the investigation into the shooting. Netanyahu also offered Israel's assistance in the investigation.

Police have cordoned off the area around the embassy and forensics experts in white protective clothing were searching the area. Police recovered 54 spent bullet casings.

The embassy has not been a target in other acts of low-level violence in Greece in recent years as an economic crisis raises social and political tensions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report