Israeli Embassy in France destroyed by fire
A violent fire broke out at the Israeli Embassy in the capital city of Paris early Thursday morning, destroying the building.
The fire erupted at about 0200 GMT in the five-story embassy, which was unoccupied at the time, according to French police.
Eight firefighters were slightly injured during a five-hour battle to extinguish the intense blaze, and three were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
An estimated 150 firefighters and dozens of fire vehicles were at the scene, as was Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe and Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin.
In addition, access to the scene was completely blocked by police vehicles, and acrid smoke could be smelled throughout the surrounding vicinity.
Israel ambassador Eli Bar-Navi said that the initial estimation was that an electrical short had caused the blaze, but "no possibility is being ruled out. The investigation has not yet begun."
Bar-Navi told Israel Radio that the entire building had been destroyed in the blaze. "We no longer have an embassy. Everything that was inside has gone. The only thing that remains is outside of the building... everything we had, all our memory, our computers have gone." (Albawaba.com)