Israeli daily critical of India’s ’slow’ response to terror strike

November 28th, 2008 - 11:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) As India turned down Israel’s offer to send its crack commandos to Mumbai to rescue Israeli hostages held in a Jewish centre, an influential newspaper in Tel Aviv has criticised “slow, confused and inefficient” response of Indian authorities to the terror attacks in Mumbai.”In the first several hours after the Mumbai incidents began, the response of the Indian authorities was slow, confused and inefficient,” said an article in Haaretz, entitled “Is Al Qaeda behind the Mumbai terror attacks?”

“The first forces sent to the scene were inexperienced local police officers, who suffered many casualties as a result,” said the article published in Friday’s edition of the daily.

“It took some time before military and security authorities realised the scope of the attack and deployed skilled security forced, including army and navy commando units,” the article said.

The editorial pages of Haaretz, published in both Hebrew and English, are considered influential among government leaders, intellectuals, academics, and professionals.

The bodies of five Jews were found inside the Jewish centre - Nariman House - a home to Chabad Lubavich sect, in which an Israeli rabbi and his family were trapped.

“India said a polite no to an offer by Israel for dispatching counter terror forces,” Haaretz pointed out.

“It appears the Indian government is not interested in high profile security assistance from Israel. Throughout the day, the Homefront Command prepared to send an aid delegation to India but efforts were halted when it became clear that Delhi was not enthusiastic about the prospect,” the daily said.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni Thursday offered Israel’s assistance to India in dealing with terror attacks and its aftermath. Livni also called her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and underlined her country’s solidarity in the fight against terrorism.

Tel Aviv is not happy with New Delhi’s rejection of its offer to send its elite commando force to rescue hostages trapped in Mumbai’s luxury hotels and in Nariman House, reliable sources said.

The Israeli defence minister also expressed concerns over the fate of Israelis caught up in the attacks. He also thanked the Indian government for its efforts to trace the missing Israeli nationals visiting Mumbai.

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