Embassy of Israel, London
|Embassy of Israel in London|
|Address||2 Palace Green|
The Israeli Embassy to the United Kingdom is the site of a diplomatic mission of Israel, situated at 2 Palace Green (consular entrance at 15a Old Court Place), in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is the only diplomatic building of Israel in the United Kingdom. The building hosts both the Embassy of Israel and the Israeli Consulate, accessible via a separate entrance.
Kensington Palace Gardens, the extension of Palace Green, is home to Kensington Palace itself as well as a number of other diplomatic delegations, and forms part of the Crown Estate. Security around the Embassy is extremely rigorous.
Security incidents and assassination attempts
On 19 September 1972, a letter bomb delivered to the Embassy exploded, killing an Israeli diplomat. Seven other bombs claimed to have been sent by the terrorist group Black September were either not delivered, or detected.
On 3 June 1982, Ambassador of Israel Shlomo Argov was shot and seriously injured on exiting an event at which he was guest of honour. A terror cell claiming to have split from the PLO and headed by Abu Nidal took credit for the attack. After a lengthy coma, the Ambassador died of his wounds in 2003. The incident is widely reported as being a key factor in the 1982 Lebanon War.
On 26 July 1994, a car bomb exploded outside the Embassy, partially destroying the front of the building and injuring 20 people within and outside the building. The blast damaged shops on nearby Kensington High Street, and blew out windows in Kensington Palace where Princess Margaret and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were in residence. The attack came 8 days after a bomb at the AMIA building in Buenos Aires killed 85 and injured hundreds.
A series of demonstrations outside the Embassy during December 2008 and January 2009, held in protest at Israel's 'Cast Lead' operation in Gaza, were marred by violence and ended in a number of arrests and at least one court sentence for those taking part in the violence.
Rebuilding and rededication of the Embassy
On 15 March 2010, Ambassador of Israel Ron Prosor formally announced the rededication of the Embassy after an extensive refurbishment programme. As part of the Embassy's rededication, the original Music Room of the Thackeray house was named in honour of former Ambassador Shlomo Argov.
- Embassy of Israel website
- Embassy of Israel on Twitter
- Embassy of Israel on Facebook
- Earlier history of the house, from the Survey of London
- The Crown Estate in Kensington Palace Gardens, (c) 2010 University of London, accessed 8 April 2010
- BBC On This Day: 19 September 1972, BBC, accessed 8 April 2010
- Obituary: Shlomo Argov, The Guardian, 25 February 2003
- 'Arrests over Israel Embassy demo', BBC News, 29 December 2008
- 'Teenager sentenced over violent protests', Press Association hosted at Google News, 26 March 2010, accessed 21 April 2010
- Miliband to attend Israeli Embassy reception, Jewish Chronicle, 26 February 2010
- Musical memorial to Shlomo Argov, Jewish Chronicle, 18 March 2010