Israel arrests staff from British consulate: Foreign Office

3rd January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Israeli authorities have arrested two locally hired workers at the British consulate general in Jerusalem who were reportedly linked to a plot to attack a stadium, the Foreign Office in London said Monday.

"I can confirm that two members of the local staff at the consulate general in Jerusalem have been arrested by Israeli authorities," a Foreign Office spokesman told AFP.

"We understand from reports that they have been charged with the illegal sale of weapons and we are seeking confirmation of these charges. It is an ongoing legal process."

The BBC reported the two men, who were maintenance workers at the consulate, were arrested over their alleged links to a plan to fire a rocket at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium.

The two men -- one an Israeli citizen, the other a resident of East Jerusalem -- had allegedly obtained weapons for two other men accused of planning the attack, said the broadcaster.

No rockets were found and the plot was in its preliminary stages, said the BBC, citing police.

The Foreign Office refused to comment on the report but a spokesman said the arrests of the staff members was not connected to their work at the consulate.

As maintenance workers, the pair would not have had sensitive security clearance, said the spokesman. All staff undergo appropriate security vetting, he added.

It is understood the pair were arrested last month.

© 2011 AFP

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