Hezbollah Says 'No Comment' on Burgas Report; Hamas Blames Israel for Expulsion of Lawmakers From Bulgaria

Speaking to hundreds of supporters, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah says 'issue is being followed calmly and closely;' leader of Hamas delegation says Israel pressured Sofia to expel delegation from Bulgaria on Friday.

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The leader of Hezbollah said Saturday that he would not comment on a recent report from Bulgaria that said members of the Lebanese militant group carried out an attack that killed five Israeli tourists last summer, saying only that the "issue is being followed calmly and closely."

Speaking to hundreds of supporters via video link, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Israel had already accused his militant group of being behind the attack before the Bulgarian report.

Nasrallah also warned the Jewish state against attacking Lebanon, saying Hezbollah's response in such a scenario would be harsh.

Meanwhile, the leader of a four-member Hamas delegation expelled from Bulgaria has accused Israel of pressuring Sofia to kick the Palestinians out of the country.

Salah Bardawil made the remarks Saturday after arriving in Cairo en route back to Gaza. He offered no evidence to back up his claim. Calls to Israeli officials went unanswered.

On Friday, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that the lawmakers had entered the country with regular visas "issued, however, on different motives from what they have demonstrated here." He said they had left the country Friday morning.

Hours later, Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security issued a statement saying that "the four Palestinians expelled from Bulgaria posed a serious threat for national security."

Bardawil said the delegation met with media and some political figures during the visit.

The visit of the three Hamas lawmakers comes a week after Bulgarian investigators said they had "well-grounded reasons to suggest" that the militant wing of the Islamist group Hezbollah was behind a bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists last year at the airport in the Black Sea resort of Burgas.

Three men are suspected in the attack, including the bomber. The latter's identity has not been established. The names of the two other suspects, believed to still be alive, have not been made public.

The European Union, of which Bulgaria is a member, regards Hezbollah as a legitimate political organization and has resisted calls to blacklist the group or declare it a terrorist organization.

Smoke rising after a terrorist blast at Bulgaria's Burgas airport July 18, 2012. Credit: Reuters

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