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Israel not warned about london says shalom
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Israel not warned about London attacks, FM says
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel was not warned about possible terror attacks in London before a series of blasts ripped through the city, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Thursday.
A Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said earlier that British police warned the Israeli Embassy in London of possible terror attacks minutes before the first explosion.
"There was no early information about terrorist attacks," Shalom told Israel Army Radio later. "After the first explosion an order was given that no one move until things become clear. "
Israel was holding an economic conference in a hotel over the London subway stop where one of the blasts occurred. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to attend the conference, but "after the first explosion our finance minister received a request not to go anywhere," Shalom said.
He said he wasn't aware of any Israeli casualties.
The Israeli Embassy was in a state of emergency after the explosions in London, with no one allowed to enter or leave, said the Israeli ambassador to London, Zvi Hefet.
All phone lines to the embassy were down, said Danny Biran, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official.
The ministry set up a situation room to deal with hundreds of phone calls from concerned relatives. Thousands of Israelis are living in London or visiting the city at this time, Biran said.
Amir Gilad, a Netanyahu aide, told Israel Radio that Netanyahu's entourage was receiving updates all morning from British security officials, and "we have also asked to change our plans."
Netanyahu had been scheduled to stay in London until Sunday, but that could change, Gilad said.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.
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