Israeli Tourist Bus Bombed in Bulgaria; Netanyahu Blames Iran

Seven people, six of them Israelis, were killed in a bus bombing terror attack in Bulgaria on Wednesday. Haaretz reported the attack targeted a bus carrying Israeli tourists and comes on the 18th anniversary of a vicious attack on a Jewish community center in South America, which has been blamed on the Iranian proxy Hezbollah group.

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of Wednesday’s bombing in Bulgaria, “All signs point towards Iran.” He noted the number of different plots against Israelis around the world which have largely been unsuccessful—including a recent one in Cyprus that was foiled.

“Exactly 18 years to the day after the horrendous attack on the Jewish Community Center in Argentina, deadly Iranian terrorism continues to strike at innocent people,” said Netanyahu. “This is a global Iranian terror onslaught and Israel will react firmly to it.”

The United States expressed its horror at the attack, with President Barack Obama calling Netanyahu to express his condolences. An Israeli press release on the exchange said the two leaders “agreed that Israel and the US would work together in investigating the attack.”

Netanyahu, in the conversation, pointed to international Iranian and Hezbollah terrorism and said, “Iran is a global terrorism state. It must bear the consequences.”

Haaretz reported the attack also wounded 33 people. Citing Bulgarian media, Haaretz said one of the fatalities was a local tour guide.

According to press statements from both groups, the Israel Defense Forces and the paramedic and rescue group Magen David Adom are sending medical teams to Bulgaria to help care for the wounded.

The European Union also expressed condolences over the dead. In a statement EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was “appalled to hear of this afternoon’s apparent terrorist attack on Israeli tourists arriving in Bulgaria. I am deeply shocked by the scenes at Bourgas airport, where what should have been the beginning of a happy holiday ended in murder.”

Both the US and the EU called for the perpetrators behind the attack to face justice. “The EU utterly condemns all acts of terrorism, wherever they take place,” said Ashton. “The terrorists who planned and carried out this attack must be brought to justice.”

The attack comes after years of warnings of a possible revenge attack from Hezbollah over the assassination of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, which the Lebanese group has long blamed on Israel. In addition, Haaretz also noted Iran could have motive for the attack as revenge for assassinations on members of their nuclear program. Israel has never claimed official credit for any of the attacks.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, July 19, 2012)