Report: Israel Finds Unusually High Number of Lebanon, Burgas Phone Calls Made Before Attack

Israeli and Bulgarian intelligence services still do not have clear evidence of Hezbollah's involvement in the attack.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Israel has noted an unusually high number of phone calls between Lebanon and the city of Burgas in Bulgaria, in the three days before the terror attack last month in which seven people died, including five Israeli tourists, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The Israeli and Bulgarian intelligence services still do not have clear evidence of Hezbollah's involvement in the attack.

An Israeli official said that, according to an investigation, in the two months leading up to the attack, the number of phone calls made between Lebanon and the city of Burgas was unusually high. The number became even higher in the three days leading up to the attack.

“We know the sources in Lebanon,” but not who is on the other end of the phone call in Bulgaria, the New York Times cited the Israeli official as saying.

The Bulgarian intelligence services investigation over the attack has largely not advanced, according to the newspaper, and investigators still do not know the identity of the suicide bomber, or his accomplices. Bulgaria is hesitating to say that Hezbollah was behind the attack without stronger evidence, especially in light of the fact that the European Union does not recognize Hezbollah as a terror organization.

A German intelligence official who was interviewed for the New York Times article said that there is skepticism over the involvement of Hezbollah in the attack. It is likely that Iran used operatives with some connection to Hezbollah, the official said.

Seven people were killed in the bombing, five of them Israeli tourists, one of them the Bulgarian bus driver. An additional 34 Israelis were wounded in the attack.

A burned out bus in Burgas, Bulgaria following a terrorist attack on July 18.Credit: REUTERS

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