Report: Istanbul Attack Was Attempted Hezbollah Strike on Israeli Envoy

Turkey blamed PKK for May 2011 bombing, but report claims attack was retaliation for assassination of Iran nuclear scientist attributed to Israel.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

Evidence from Washington has revealed that a bombing in Istanbul in May might not have been the work of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as claimed, but was in fact perpetrated by the Lebanon-based Islamist organization Hezbollah, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Monday.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Istanbul bombing, May 26, 2011.Credit: AP

According to the report, the attack, in which eight were wounded, was meant to target Israeli Consul General to Istanbul Moshe Kamhi as retaliation for the Mossads alleged assassination of Iranian nuclear physicist Masoud Ali Muhammedi in Tehran in 2010.

Three Hezbollah members who allegedly arrived in Istanbul from Beirut to execute the hit on Kimche traced the route the Israeli envoy took from his home to the Israeli consulate every day, calculating when to detonate the bomb in Istanbuls Etiler neighborhood, the Italian daily reported.

But says the report, Kimche was running slightly behind schedule on the day of the bombing, and the blast missed him entirely.

Turkeys National Intelligence Organization (MT) originally traced the bombing to the PKK, claiming the group wished to wreak havoc before the June 2011 elections. However, the Turkish intelligence organization reportedly realized their findings were misguided, realizing that Hezbollah, doing Irans bidding, allegedly carried out the attack.

Intelligence sources in Ankara denied Corriere della Seras report, according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, with one source saying "Israel carries out similar disinformation campaigns through newspapers from time to time."

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