Jerusalem: Concerned over the security of its representatives in India, Israel has decided to upgrade the official residence of its defence attaché in New Delhi to a luxury apartment.
The new residence is expected to cost between USD 15,000 to USD 20,000 per month, which is much higher than the apartment that has housed defence attachés in New Delhi in the past, a media report said.
"Unfortunately, the threats against Israeli envoys, as was evident in the latest attack in India, in which an envoy`s wife was injured, oblige us to pursue an extended security package, which includes overhead expenses that are intended to ensure the protection of the envoy and his or her family members", Israel`s Defence Ministry said.
"All Israeli representatives are protected according to security instructions issued by the Shin Bet (Israel`s internal security agency), including military and Defence Ministry attaches all over the world.”
"The military and Defence Ministry attaches in New Delhi play a critical role in the strategic relationship between Israel and India and in the defence and economic cooperation between the states," the ministry said, as quoted by news website Ynet.
The chosen apartment will eventually have to receive budgetary and security authorisations.
The decision towards upgrade comes almost four months after an Israeli Defence Ministry official`s wife was injured in a terror attack in New Delhi, for which Israel blamed Iran.
The terrorist attack in February injured Tal Yeshohua Koren while she was on way to pick up her children from school.
India is Israel`s largest purchaser of military equipment, estimated to be around 50 percent of Israeli defence industries` total exports, highlighting the importance of such representatives.