Israel launched a campaign Sunday to draw attention to Iran and Hezbollah’s
involvement in international terrorism.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
took his case to the US public and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman announced a
trip to Brussels to convince the EU to put Hezbollah on its terror
Netanyahu, appearing on two Sunday morning interview programs
– CBS’s Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday – said it was clear beyond a doubt
that Hezbollah was behind Wednesday’s attack in Burgas that left five Israelis
and a Bulgarian bus driver dead.
“I know, based on absolutely rock solid
intelligence, this is Hezbollah, and this is something Iran knows about very,
very well,” he said.
Netanyahu added that Israel knows, without “a shred
of doubt,” that the operation was carried out “with the encouragement, at the
behest and coordination of Iran.”
The prime minister said the
intelligence information was given to “friendly” intelligence agencies in the
It was also easy to “surmise” that Hezbollah was responsible,
because a week before the bombing, a man who admitted to being a Hezbollah
operative was arrested in Cyprus preparing exactly the same kind of attack
the one carried out in Bulgaria, Netanyahu said.
“Exactly the same thing:
going to an airport to collect information for an impending attack on Israel
tourists who get off the plane and are about to board a bus,” he said. “So,
exactly the same modus operandi was exposed in Cyprus. Fortunately there, the
terrorist was caught, he admitted that he worked on behalf of Hezbollah, Iran’s
Iran and Hezbollah have tried to carry out attacks in
24 countries over the past two years, Netanyahu said.
The prime minister
termed this a “worldwide terror campaign directed at us, but often including
others. For example, there was an Iranian planned attack on the Saudi ambassador
to the United States. They might have well taken away several senators with
them, they don’t particularly care. Very brazen. How could Iran be doing this
and getting away with murder, literally. It is because nobody names and shames
There were five Iranians and two Hezbollah operatives in custody
around the globe for alleged involvement in terrorist plots, and the time had
come to “expose those who stand behind terror,” Netanyahu said. In addition to
exposing Iran’s involvement, he said the world had to make sure that Iran paid
for its involvement.
The prime minister also drew a parallel, as he had
done last Thursday in Jerusalem, between the Bulgaria attack and Iran’s pursuit
of nuclear weapons.
He said the attack on a busload of tourists,
including killing a pregnant woman, “tells you what kind of people we’re dealing
Now, imagine these people who are capable of doing anything,
imagine them possessing nuclear weapons. People who gun down innocent people,
who send suicide bombers, who could block the Straits of Iran, who threaten to
annihilate Israel, who murder diplomats, who’ve taken over your embassy – you
want these people to have atomic bombs? “I think this is a reminder, this wave
of terror attacks, that the world’s most dangerous regime must not be allowed to
have the world’s most dangerous weapons.”
Meanwhile, Liberman announced
that he would travel to Brussels on Monday for the annual EU-Israel Association
In the wake of the attack in Bulgaria and the attempted attack
in Cyprus, both EU countries, Liberman is expected to ask his European
colleagues to include Hezbollah in the EU’s terrorist blacklist.
group is already on the US terrorist list.
Liberman is expected to say
that Hezbollah’s responsibility for violence and lack of stability in the Middle
East and the world obligates the EU to take action.
The foreign minister
is scheduled to meet with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, as well as
the foreign ministers from France, Britain, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech
Republic, the Netherlands, Croatia, Sweden, Belgium, Slovakia and
The annual Israel-EU Association meeting deals with a wide range
of bilateral EU-Israel issues.