Netanyahu Blames Bulgaria Attack on Hezbollah, Calling It Iran’s ‘Long Arm’

Wednesday's attack, in which 5 Israelis were killed, was carried out by Hezbollah with Iranian backing, prime minister says in televised statement.

Barak Ravid
Haaretz
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Barak Ravid
Haaretz

The attack in Bulgaria on Wednesday in which five Israelis were killed was carried out by Hezbollah with Iranian backing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday afternoon in a televised statement.

“We will pursue the attackers and extract a heavy price from those who sent them,” Netanyahu said, adding, “We will continue fighting Iranian terror, we will act against it with great force.”

“For over a year, Iran, along with its protégé Hezbollah, has been waging an international terror campaign,” he said, calling Iran “the world’s number one exporter of terror” and Hezbollah its “long arm.”

Netanyahu said Iran and Hezbollah were responsible for a number of attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli targets, in Thailand, Georgia, India, Greece, Cyprus and other countries.

“A terrorist organization must not get nuclear weapons. The most dangerous state in the world must not attain the most dangerous weapon on Earth,” he said.

Netanyahu had previously said that all of the evidence in Israel’s possession pointed to Iran as the party responsible for the attack.

He also thanked the Bulgarian government for its quick response to the attack, which he said saved Israeli lives. Netanyahu called Bulgaria a “true friend” of Israel and emphasized how much Israel needs such friends in the world.

A senior source in Israel’s defense establishment said on Thursday that the Burgas attack was part of a wave of terror perpetrated by Iran and Hezbollah against Israeli targets around the world, adding “we don’t know how long it will continue.”

According to the source, Israel fears that Hezbollah was planning to attack an Israeli target abroad, but “we could not match that information to a specific place and time.”

The source added that Israel believed Hezbollah was behind the attack because it matches previous attacks carried out by the group. “According to what we have seen so far, it looks like Hezbollah. If new information appears, we will examine its significance,” he said.

A truck carrying the bus that was damaged in the terrorist attack outside Burgas Airport, Bulgaria on July 19, 2012.Credit: Reuters

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