On this day: Israeli embassy bombed

July 26 1994: Terror comes to London


Fourteen people were injured when a car bomb was left next to the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.

The attack was followed by another, 24 hours later, at the head offices of the Joint Israel Appeal in Finchley. A further six people were injured in the second hit. Both buildings were left severely damaged, as were some nearby shops.

The first bomb was set off the day after Israel and its neighbours moved another step towards peace, as Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein declared an end to the conflict.

A police investigation was launched, with five Palestinians arrested over both attacks the following January.

Nearly two years after that, two people – British-educated science graduates connected to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – were convicted of conspiracy to cause the bombings, and given 20 year sentences. A third defendant was found not-guilty.

On of them, Samar Alami had attended UCL, and it emerged during the trial that she had posed as a Jewish woman called Sarah Solomon in order to obtain a copy of the Jewish Yearbook and other information. She also had a list of prominent Jews in her flat.

The judge who sentenced the pair said their offence was tantamount to waging war in the streets of London.

What the JC said: The repairmen have been hard at work, but the signs of devastation are still unmistakable at the Israeli embassy…they say that, such was the force if the explosion, that it was a miracle that no one was killed or maimed. Bullets of glass flew across rooms; bricks cascaded on to unoccupied desks; a large chandelier crashed to the ground. No one was on the staircase beneath.

See more from the JC archives here.

    Last updated: 9:20am, July 26 2011