“The fears are very grave after her British boyfriend reported she was apparently on board the bus that exploded in Russell Square,” an official in Jerusalem said Friday evening.
Sources in Jerusalem said the boyfriend has been in touch with the woman’s family in Israel.
“We are talking about an Israeli woman who has been living in London in recent years,” one source said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry officials said they received hundreds of inquires regarding Israelis who have not made contact with families and friends in the wake of the attacks.
“There are still 50 Israelis who have not yet made contact,” one source said. “However, this (the missing woman) is in our view the only case that arouses grave concerns.”
Sharon, Blair speak
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and expressed his shock over Thursday’s terror attack.
The bombings were a cruel crime that only stresses the fact there is no compromise with terror, which has become the main danger faced by the free world, Sharon told Blair, and expressed Israel’s willingness to offer any needed assistance.
The prime minister added that what could have been a day of celebration for London, after it was chosen to host the 2012 Olympics, turned into a day of tragedy instead.
Blair, meanwhile, thanked Sharon for the phone call. The British prime minister said Israelis have suffered serious terror attacks and noted that when it comes to terrorism there are strong ties between the two nations.
A senior Pentagon official said claims made by an al-Qaeda cell carried out the attack the are reliable, as they had been posted on what is considered a trustworthy Islamic website that in the past has reported of attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Moreover, British Foreign secretary Jack Straw said the bombing had "the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda related attack.”
British police said the bodies of 49 people had been recovered, but warned that the number of deaths would rise. Some 700 people were injured in the bombings; dozens remain hospitalized in serious condition.
Investigators are examining the possibility that suicide bombers carried out the attacks, but are not ruling out the option that the bombs were detonated by remote control using cell phones or timers.