New Delhi: Israel announced that it had listed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba as a terrorist organization to mark the 15th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks in 2008, which killed at least 166 people, including six Jews. The move comes weeks after Israel reached out to India to designate Hamas a terror group, following the murderous attack on its southern communities on October 7.
Announcing the decision, the Israeli Embassy said: “To symbolize the marking of the 15th year of commemoration of the Mumbai terror attacks, the state of Israel has listed Lashkar-e-Taiba as a terror organization.”
The consulate said Israel had formally completed all necessary procedures and satisfied regulations to introduce the LeT into the country’s list of illegal terror organisations. It also said India had not made any requests to the country to do so. The embassy added the Israeli ministries of defence and foreign affairs worked for an expedited and extraordinary listing on the attacks’ anniversary – in order to highlight a “unified global front” in combating terrorism.
During the coordinated attacks from 26 to 29 November in 2008, LeT terrorists targeted the Jewish outreach centre, Chabad House, killing six — including the couple Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who ran the establishment. Israel said the 15-year delay in taking this decision stemmed from the fact that the country listed only those terror groups which actively operated against it from within or around its borders. Or those which were globally recognised as such by the UNSC or the US state department, just like India did, it added.
Ambassador Naor Gilon had said last month that Israel was in talks with India about the possibility of designating Hamas a terror organization. However, the Indian government told Israel that a militant group – which has no history of attacks in the country – would only make it to its list if the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recognized it as a terror organization, sources in the security establishment said.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, has been designated a terror organisation by Israel, the US, and the European Union. Last week, however, India for the first time recognized Hamas as a party in the ongoing conflict in West Asia.