British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before Thursday's explosions that they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city, a senior Israeli official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the nature of his position.
Israel was holding an economic conference in a hotel over the subway stop where one of the blasts occurred. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to attend the conference, but in response to the warning, did not leave his hotel to attend the conference, government officials said.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said he wasn't aware of any Israeli casualties. Just before the blasts, Scotland Yard called the security officer at the Israeli Embassy and said warnings of possible attacks had been received, the official said. He did not say whether British police made any link to the economic conference.
The Israeli ambassador to London, Zvi Hefetz, said Thursday that the embassy was in a state of emergency following the explosions in London, with no one allowed entering or leaving. Danny Biran, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official, said all phone lines to the embassy were down. The ministry has 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.