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November 3, 2014 10:04 am

Israel’s Netanyahu Rushed to Underground Room After Car Bomb Scare

avatar by Dave Bender

Prime Minister's office, Jerusalem. Photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister's office, Jerusalem. Photo: Flash 90.

Tension briefly soared at the tightly guarded Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem Monday morning when security officials got an alert about a suspicious vehicle parked nearby, Israel’s Ch. 2 News reported.

Bodyguards rushed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to an underground room, while ministers attending a Housing Cabinet meeting elsewhere in the building were rushed to a safe area.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver were discussing solutions for several thorny housing issues, when security chiefs broke into the session and initiated a security protocol  in which VIPs are hurried to protected areas away from the threatened sector of the heavily-patrolled compound.

Meanwhile, officials checked out the suspected car bomb left in a nearby lot, which turned out to be a false alarm.

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“Following a suspicious car identified in vicinity to the prime minister’s bureau, those present at the office were evacuated, including the PM himself, to areas distanced from the suspicious car,” a bureau statement said.

PMO: ministers waiting out security alert. Photo: screenshot

PMO: ministers waiting out security alert. Photo: screenshot

The structure, once of the most highly guarded in Israel, is a regular venue for visiting diplomats and politicians, and is where the prime minister regularly holds press conferences.

The PMO is next to the Foreign Ministry and Bank of Israel, across the street from the Supreme Court, and down a short avenue from the nearby Knesset parliament.

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