Bullet holes are seen on the Israeli embassy building in Athens on December 12, 2014
Bullet holes are seen on the Israeli embassy building in Athens on December 12, 2014 © Louisa Gouliamaki - AFP
Bullet holes are seen on the Israeli embassy building in Athens on December 12, 2014
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AFP
Last updated: December 12, 2014

Greek government condemns gun attack on Israeli embassy

Greek police on Friday said a far-left group was likely responsible for a night-time gun attack on the Israeli embassy in Athens that saw the building sprayed with gunfire but no one hurt.

Two Kalashnikov assault rifles used in the attack had been used in a similar attack on the residence of the German ambassador last December by the People's Fighter Group, a police source said.

A gunman riding on the back of motorcycle raked the embassy with at least 54 rounds from a Kalashnikov rifle, police said, as it passed the embassy, which sits on the corner of a busy road in the affluent northern suburbs of the Greek capital.

Television footage showed bullet holes on the side of the embassy building.

"There were two bursts of gunfire...they must have emptied an entire clip," the attendant of a neighbouring petrol station told reporters.

Another two people on a second motorcycle were suspected of also taking part in the attack, which happened at 3:20 am (0120 GMT).

Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias, who visited the scene, told the Ana news agency, "No one is going to affect the relations between Greece and Israel."

Relations between the two have warmed considerably recently as tensions have risen between Israel and Turkey, once a close ally of the Jewish state.

"Every terrorist attack is an assault on democracy and the country," said government spokeswoman Sophia Voultepsi, who added the Athens was taking "determined steps" against terror groups.

The People's Fighter Group had also fired on the offices of the ruling conservative New Democracy party in January 2013.

Friday's incident comes two days after a Palestinian official died following a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

Israel's policies in the West Bank and Gaza have been widely condemned in Greece, with many protests held in support of the Palestinians.

Embassies and diplomatic vehicles in Greece have been targeted in attacks by far-left groups in recent years.

The residence of the German ambassador in Athens has been hit twice -- with two assault rifles in 2013 and a rocket attack in 1999. No one was hurt.

In 2007, another rocket was fired at the US embassy in Athens without injuring anyone.

All three attacks were claimed by far-left groups, two of which have since been dismantled by the police.

But the People's Fighter Group remains active and its members at large.

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