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The emissary of the Chabad House in Athens on thwarting the attacks: "We thank the authorities for protecting us" - Voila! News

2023-03-28T20:00:50.495Z


Rabbi Mendel Handel, the Chabad emissary to Athens who operates the Chabad center where the restaurant and synagogue were the initial target of the squad, spoke with Walla! and told about the feelings among the Jewish community in Greece, and their reactions to the publications. "We are always careful. The Holy One, blessed be He, is watching over us"


On video: the funeral procession of Hassan Seyed Khodayi in Tehran (Photo: Reuters)

Hours after news broke in Greece about the arrest of the cell associated with Iran, which planned to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in the country, Rabbi Mandel Handel, the Chabad emissary to Athens, spoke to Walla! and spoke about the feelings among the Jewish community in Greece, and their reactions to the publications



. "We're fine," said Rabbi Handel, who operates the Chabad center where the restaurant and synagogue were the initial target of the squad.

"We did not receive any information beyond what was published. We were not contacted in an official way. We also read the details on the news websites. We understood that they were following Jewish websites, and we thank the authorities who always watch over us and discovered this. We are always careful. The Holy One, blessed be He, always watches over us And we also take precautions. We have to continue living and we have to be careful, take care of ourselves and take care of the people who come."



Rabbi Handel, married and father of three, who came to Athens from Brooklyn 22 years ago, said that he does not remember a similar event ever happening.

"It's generally quiet here, and the people are nice and we've never had any problems."

In a conversation with Walla!

He said that when the news was published today, people who came to the Chabad center asked about the matter. "We reassured the people, we explained to them, but beyond that - routine.

There was nothing special today.

We are of course in contact with all the authorities and with the embassy, ​​and are being updated."



"We are preparing for Passover and with God's help there will be only good news, and God will protect the people of Israel everywhere," he concluded.

Rabbi Mendel Handel, Chabad emissary to Athens with his family (photo: official website, Beit Chabad website)

Earlier today, the media in Greece reported that the local police arrested two suspects of Pakistani origin on suspicion of planning mass attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets in the country, including the capital Athens.

According to the various publications, the suspects were allegedly members of a larger terrorist network originating "overseas", and apparently in Iran.

For now, the suspects are being held at the police headquarters in central Athens and their investigations are ongoing.



Unusually and in response to the publications, the Prime Minister's Office said on behalf of the Mossad: "The affair that was revealed today in Greece is a serious affair that was successfully thwarted by the Greek security forces. This is another attempt by Iran to promote terrorism against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad."



"After the investigation of the suspects in Greece began, the Mossad assisted in an intelligence investigation of the infrastructure, the methods of operation, and the connection to Iran. As part of the investigation, it was revealed that the infrastructure that operated in Greece is part of a wide Iranian network that operates from Iran out in many countries. The Mossad, together with its partners in the community, operates by virtue of its role continuously To thwart terrorist attacks by Iran all over the globe," they added.

More in Walla!

The Mossad in an unusual announcement: Iran tried to hit Israeli targets in Greece

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"Further proof of the superiority of Israeli intelligence and the importance of international cooperation."

The city of Athens, archive photo (photo: Walla! system, Nimrod Ofran)

In Greece, where the case is taken very seriously, it was reported that the squad was headed by a man wanted in Iran for murder, who managed to recruit two young men from Pakistan, aged 27 and 29, for the mission.

The cell planned to carry out the first attack on the Beit Chabad compound in the Psiri district of Athens, using weapons, explosive devices or arson. It was also announced today in Greece that the two tried to recruit a third member of the cell, who would help them carry out the attack. The Greek news site "



Proto Tama reported that for each person killed, the members of the squad were promised a payment of 15,000 euros. The two were arrested on February 15 and 16 without residence permits. Calls to the squad commander were found on their phones, and their investigation revealed that the two even made observations on one of the nearby streets to the synagogue.



On the Greek news website "Katemarini", it was reported that another man, a Pakistani of Iranian origin, was also arrested. He was questioned on suspicion of possible links to "extremist" organizations in the Islamic Republic.



It was also stated in "Katimarini" that the investigation began after the arrest of Pakistani citizens in Cyprus in 2021, who were accused of attacking an Israeli target, and after the arrest a year later of Pakistani citizens in Turkey, members of a squad that planned to carry out an attack against an Israeli target in the city of Istanbul.

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  • Greece

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  • Chabad

  • Athens

Source: walla

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